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August 9 2022 2:31 AM ˚
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Immediate action is required to reduce truck accidents

Zarro on wheels
(Photo: Handout from Daimler Media)
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AMMAN —Road accidents in Jordan are a national issue, and highway accidents that involve trucks claim several lives annually.

According to WHO data published in 2018, road accidents in Jordan claimed 2,244 lives or 6.77 percent of total deaths that year. Additionally, the accidents have cost some Jordanians their ability to lead normal lives, and have cost the government JD296 in damages in 2020 alone, according to an annual report issued by the Jordan Traffic Institute.اضافة اعلان

Jordan’s traffic department, ministries, and municipalities must go beyond monitoring roads through cameras and issuing speeding tickets as these methods are not sufficient enough to deter violators of the traffic law. The three elements that are involved in a given accident are the driver, the vehicle, and the road. This suggests that deterring the driver or controlling his behavior is not enough. The other two elements and their safety must be addressed as well, as road conditions in the Kingdom are not ideal in terms of safety and security. An immediate and in-depth study is required to underscore the immediate requirements for truck safety on Jordan’s roads. What the government has done on Aqaba’s highway is a good example of what can and should be done on all trucking roads in Jordan.

 This undated photo shows a truck accident in Mafraq. (Photo: Jordan News Agency, Petra)

Truck vehicle laws and regulations in Jordan are rarely enforced, employing the simplest means of safety. For example, the tachometer registration system which monitors truck speed throughout a single trip exists, but it is not controlled properly, despite being imposed by the law for more than 30 years. There are more important matters related to the power of the engines and the effectiveness of the braking and safety systems, which have become mandatory in all developed countries and are available in all categories of trucks. But overloading or weakened brakes, coupled with “reckless” speed, may turn it into a “loose” train.

In addition, drivers’ lack of knowledge on how to use existing safety systems in modern trucks makes the presence of safety systems ineffective. Thus, it is necessary to ensure proper training and certification before granting licenses.

All involved must put an end to this dangerous regulatory vacuum and legalize advanced training for drivers.  The presence or absence of safety devices in trucks also directly affects the lives of citizens.
 Add to this the issue of the physical and psychological condition of drivers, as there is no monitoring of continuous driving periods that may reach more than 12 hours for some drivers, and cases of fatigue and lack of focus due to continuous work throughout the week. These conditions are a direct cause of human errors that may cause fatal accidents.

 Reducing the consequences of traffic accidents is possible if the concerned authorities move more effectively to address the bitter traffic reality and take real and effective measures immediately.