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Meticulous Health  Screening of Drivers
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Meticulous Health Screening of Drivers

In efforts to help reduce traffic accidents on roads and highways, an estimated 60,000 drivers holding class one driving license (for heavy vehicles) will go through meticulous health screening, said Khosrow Sadeqniat, a senior official at the Health Ministry.
“We aim to identify drivers with the highest rates of road accidents leading to injuries or fatalities and check on their health status,” he said, ILNA reported.
Noting that road mishaps are the second leading cause of death in Iran after cardiovascular diseases, the official said, “Focusing on drivers’ health is important because an accident could also be rooted in physiological disorders.”
In a joint effort by the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, and in cooperation with the Judiciary, 50,000-60,000 drivers of heavy vehicles (buses, trucks, lift trucks, garbage trucks, etc.) will be examined as per benchmarks used in the United States and Britain.
The rate of road accidents and the ensuing human and financial loss is alarming. According to the Iranian Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center, the estimated loss of GDP in road crashes stands at 6% for a total of over 26 million vehicles including cars and four-wheel light vehicles (15 million), motorized two and three-wheelers (over 10 million) heavy trucks (over 600,000), and buses (over 200,000), as indicated in the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety for 2015.
The same report, quoting statistics from Iran’s Forensic Medicine Organization and Traffic Police, said buses and heavy trucks were responsible for a death rate of 13% out of the entire road traffic fatalities of 18,000 (77% male, 23% female, defined as dead within 30 days of a crash) during 2013-2014 in Iran.
It also said no vehicle standards – globally constituting frontal impact standard, electronic stability control, and pedestrian protection – are applied in the country.
“It is crucial to learn about the factors that contribute to and are responsible for road accidents,” Sadeqniat stressed. “For instance, drowsiness behind the wheel increases chances of accidents by 20%.”

 Insufficient
He said the 100 existing centers for screening drivers across the country are insufficient.
Head of the Crime Prevention Committee of the Judiciary’s Social Security Department, General Mehdi Masoum Beigi, supported the plan, saying his department would provide the Health Ministry with detailed information on road fatalities.
“There are eight factors affecting the severity of road traffic crashes: driver’s health, road infrastructure, vehicle quality, police management, emergency services, judicial decisions, traffic rules, and passenger behavior,” he said, underscoring the importance of addressing the first factor on priority.
The country has an annual road fatality reduction target of 10% (2011–2020). Over the past decade, Iran has reduced traffic fatalities from 40 per 100,000 in 2004 to 24 in 2014, according to the Forensic Medicine Organization and the National Statistical Center.

 

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