53 killed and 700 injured in traffic accidents over the past week

Hasht-e Subh Daily’s findings indicate that over the past week, traffic incidents in 14 provinces of the country have resulted in the deaths of 53 individuals and the injury of 666 others, including women and children. The increasing frequency of these incidents can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as road damage, insufficient traffic signage on highways, driver carelessness, drug use – particularly opium – among truck drivers, reckless driving, and disregard for safety systems. As a result, citizens are expressing concern about the growing number of casualties and are urging the Taliban traffic authorities to implement appropriate measures to reduce them. Monitoring highways by traffic police, citizens believe, could potentially prevent accidents to a certain degree.

Hasht-e Subh Daily’s findings reveal that deadly traffic accidents occurred in at least 14 provinces of the country from the first day of Eid al-Fitr to Friday, April 28. Kandahar, Ghor, Zabul, Parwan, and Balkh are the provinces with the highest number of fatalities resulting from these accidents.

According to published reports, traffic accidents in the past week have resulted in the deaths of nine people in Balkh province, 14 people in Zabul province, six people in Parwan province, six people on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, four people in Faryab province, four people in Kabul, three people in Ghazni province, three people in Khost province, and one person each in Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Kunar, and Jowzjan provinces. Moreover, at least 666 people have been injured in these accidents across 14 provinces of the country, with women and children among the victims.

However, some citizens in the country have expressed concern about the recent surge in traffic incidents and blamed the Taliban’s traffic department for insufficiently supervising highways and enforcing traffic laws.

According to Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Parwan province, there has been a significant decrease in the presence of traffic police on the roads and a lack of proper supervision since the Taliban took over. He further added that most Taliban drivers do not know how to drive properly.

According to Mahmood Shah, a resident of Kabul City, families are also responsible for the increase in traffic accidents. He believes they should prevent their underage children from driving on holidays, as most drivers are inexperienced and not familiar with traffic laws. Shah suggests that drivers should exercise caution while driving, and families should be careful not to allow their teenagers access to vehicles to prevent accidents.

According to several former officials of the country’s traffic department, factors contributing to the increase in traffic accidents include damaged roads, insufficient traffic signs on highways and roads, driver recklessness, drug addiction, reckless speeding, failure to comply with safety systems, and corruption within the Taliban traffic department. They also stated that the traffic police are not properly monitoring the country’s highways, which is resulting in citizens becoming victims of traffic accidents.

Ahmad (pseudonym), a senior manager of the former traffic department in the previous government, spoke to the Hasht-e Subh Daily and stated that corruption within the Taliban traffic department has made it easy for people to obtain driving licenses. He also pointed out that since the Taliban took control of the country, they have distributed driving licenses to thousands of their militants who have never even driven before. Ahmad added that corruption has not been eradicated from the country’s traffic departments, contributing to the increase in traffic accidents. He further stated that most of the traffic accidents these days are caused by the Taliban.

Before the Taliban took over the country, traffic accidents were the second leading cause of fatalities. However, they are now the leading cause. The Taliban had previously acknowledged the significant increase in traffic accidents on various highways and public roads, including the Kabul-Balkh and Kabul-Herat highways. These accidents are claiming dozens of lives and causing injuries every day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report a few months ago stating that traffic accidents cause an average of 36,000 deaths daily and 1.3 million deaths annually worldwide. The majority of victims are young people aged 5 to 29, with over 50% being pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. However, citizens of low- and middle-income countries account for 93% of fatalities in these accidents.