By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 19 March 2014:
In a country that already had the highest traffic death rate in the . . .[restrict]world, the rate in Libya rose by a further third last year.
According to the Ministry of Interior, there were 3,606 traffic fatalities last year. The figure up a staggering 32 percent from the 2,728 deaths last year.
It gives Libya a road traffic fatality rate of 60.1 fatalities per 100,000 population (on a population of six million), the highest figure of any country in the world. The next most dangerous place to drive in the world, according to the World Health Organisation, is Eritrea, with a fatality rate of 48.4.
In comparison, neighbouring Tunisia, with almost double Libya’s population, has a traffic fatality rate of 18.8 and Egypt (population 81 million) 13.2 road deaths per 100,000 population.
The 2013 rate for Italy is 7.2, France 6.4, Germany 4.4, the UK 2.75 and US 10.4 — meaning that someone is more than eight times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident in Libya than in Italy and 22 times than in the UK.
The soaring rate is attributed by many to young reckless drivers now ignoring traffic regulations in the absence of traffic police to enforce them. However, Libya was already one of the most dangerous places in the world to drive under Qaddafi. Libya’s rate just before the revolution was 40.5 — making it at the time the third most dangerous place on earth to drive.
In its report on traffic accidents, the Interior Ministry also says that Libya had 519,056 registered vehicles in 2013 and that there were 2,211 traffic tickets issued last year and 6,448 traffic felonies recorded.
There are, however, thought to be well over half a million cars in Libya. Many are not registered and still bear foreign number plates. Moreover in January, the Minister of Education told the Libya Herald that there were a million vehicles in Tripoli alone.
As to traffic tickets, the fact that any have been issued at all will come as a surprise to many – although one colleague of a Libya Herald reporter was issued with one recently outside Tripoli Tower. [/restrict]