Published: 2018-02-13 16:17
Last Updated: 2018-02-13 16:39
A recent study released by the Ministry of Health revealed that traffic accidents are the fourth most common cause of death among Jordanians. In 2016 alone, there were 750 fatalities, 1,841 people were seriously injured, and 15,594 had minor injuries.
The study placed Jordan in the the 36th place globally in terms of traffic-related death rate. Traffic accidents are also the main cause of death for people aged between 5 and 44.
The economic toll of traffic accidents approaching JD 2 billion annually is another incentive for the kingdom to put systems in place that enhance the infrastructure of public transport, increase the proficiency of professional drivers and place heftier penalties on violations.
As human errors form 98.7 percent of traffic accidents in the kingdom, a number of initiatives are in the works to improve road traffic safety. On Monday February 12, the Cabinet approved the introduction a new point-based traffic penalty system that entails suspending driving licenses for a specified period when violations have surpassed 16 points, state-run Petra news agency reported.
According to the new system, the suspension of licenses will depend on the points accumulated within a year, where 16 points result in a 60 day suspension; 90 days for 20 points; 120 days for 24 points; 180 days 28 points. If a driver is below the 16 point limit, they may choose to attend a rehabilitation course at the Traffic Institute and deduct 4 points from their record on completion of the course.
The Transport Ministry has deliberated a number of mechanisms to regulate road safety in the past. In 2017 the ministry considered improving transport sector credibility by adopting international legislation. They also proposed trainings targeting professional drivers operating trucks, public transport and school buses.