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 Annually over 20,000 people are killed in road accidents, with men comprising 75% of the figure, and mostly in the age group 25-40.
 Annually over 20,000 people are killed in road accidents, with men comprising 75% of the figure, and mostly in the age group 25-40.

Road Deaths Cause Highest YPLL in Iran

In Iran the maximum penalty for traffic offenders for talking on the phone while driving is less than $30 (1 million rials), and therefore the fine is not high enough to dissuade drivers from using their cell phones

Road Deaths Cause Highest YPLL in Iran

Although traffic accidents are the third leading cause of death in the country, they are responsible for the highest years of potential life lost (YPLL) which is an estimate of the average years a person would have lived if he or she had not died prematurely, said Dr Iraj Harirchi, deputy minister of health. He was speaking Sunday on the sidelines of the 41th anniversary of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Center in Iran, at Razi International Conference Halls.
About one-third of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults under the age of 30. Road accidents are also the leading cause of preventable deaths among children, IRNA reported.  
Iran has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world. Annually over 20,000 people are killed in road accidents, with men comprising 75% of the figure, and mostly in the age group 25-40. Also more than 800,000 people are injured in road crashes.
About 60 to 65% of road accidents occur near cities rather than on highways and freeways, which means that when motorists get nearer to their destination, their attention is diverted.
Several official reports have indicated that in such mishaps haste and recklessness are the primary causes that have over the years cut short the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranians.
Stating that road crashes are caused by three factors of human error, nonstandard vehicles and unsafe roads, the official said, “During the last two decades, the quality of vehicles and the condition of roads have improved to some extent, and therefore the rates of road crashes have also decreased. However, there is a big gap between what should be and what is.”
“Sleep-deprivation (fatigue), high-speed driving, illegal overtaking, red traffic light crossing, talking on cell phone, text messaging and munching behind the wheel are the most serious driving violations which cause road crashes,” he noted. Stricter rules and stiffer penalties should be enforced to reduce the road mishap rates.
Harirchi pointed to the new penalties for drivers caught using a phone to talk, text or email while driving in the UK. Under the new stringent rules expected to come into force next year, drivers will get six points on their license, double from the current three, and face a 200 pounds (9.5 million rials) fine if they are caught using their phones.
Points on the license work like warnings for drivers in the UK, with a complete driving ban enforced on the accumulation of 12 or more points.
Under the point system, each traffic offense invites a number of negative points.
In Iran, if the total points on a person’s record equal or exceed 30, the court can suspend the driver’s license for three months and if a driver gets more than 25 negative points the second time, the license is suspended for six months. This penalty or demerit point system was introduced in the 2011 traffic law.
The maximum penalty for traffic offenders for talking on the phone while driving is less than $30 (1 million rials), and “therefore the penalty is not high enough to dissuade drivers from using their cell phones.”
The highest penalty for traffic offences in general is 4 million rials ($115) for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, followed by 2 million rials ($58) for going over the speed limit. The lowest traffic fine is less than $10 for offences such as parking in a no parking zone and skipping toll payment on highways.

  Emergency Services
A total of 21 aerial emergency stations are currently in operation and the ministry is trying to increase the number to 28. “Like ground ambulances, air ambulances are installed with medical equipment vital to monitoring and treating injured or sick patients,” Harirchi said.
Currently, there are 7,700 emergency beds in 730 private and state-run emergency centers across the country. Although the average period of time from the moment patients arrive until they depart is less than 6 hours, in some cases it is longer due to lack of emergency beds.
The deputy minister pointed to the problem of misuse and abuse of the hotline 115. The number of prank calls to 115 can be reduced by raising people’s awareness of the fact that making unnecessary calls can prevent the emergency medical centers from helping people in real and critical need.”
Mohammad Aghajani, deputy minister of health for treatment, said: “In the year 2005, the risk of dying in traffic accident injuries was 1 in 10. Now it is one in 19.”

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