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Alsan İşhanı No 10,kat 5 Ofis No 70 Ulus-Ankara
e-mail :email@example.com, www.trafik.org.tr Ankara Tlf:0532 280 81 82 İstanbul 0532 355 20 09
(DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF TRAFFIC AND ROAD SAFETY SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED)
I- STATISTICAL SUMMARY REPORT
In the last 10 years (2000-2009), according to official reports published by the EGM in Turkey, 45.188 people died in traffic accidents where 1.519.737 people were injured. Since 30 days of follow-up was not done after these accidents, the number of fatalities after these accidents are not registered. The number of these fatalities is approximately similar. Meaning that, the actual death figure is 90.376. An average of 9.000 people a year and 25 people a day die in traffic accidents and 416 are injured. 15% of these injuries result in temporary disabilities while 5% of these people continue their lives with permanent disabilities. The cost of these accidents has been 1.112.560.490 TL in 2008, where time and added-value are not included. Total number of vehicles in traffic has been 14.316.000 and total number of drivers has been 20.460.000 in 2009. Increase in number of vehicles is about 4-6% a year while number of drivers increase by about 6-9%. According to the World Health Organization reports, among 20 types of deaths, Turkey holds the 5th position for fatalities with traffic accidents for age group 0-14 (Please see www.trafik.org.tr / istatistikler)
II- LEGAL AND BUREAUCRATIC KAOS
Highway Traffic Act has been released in 1983. The responsibility of "Traffic and road safety", with which our lives and safety are seriously concerned, has been splitted to a total of 18 different institutions. Meaning that, rather than performing the duty, to take a cut from this task has been considered more important than human lives, the severity of the risks and quick solutions, which are disregarded during legislations at TBMM. Although most of these institutions have budgets, equipment and authorization, they are lack of responsibility. While the duty of coordination is given to EGM, by the commissioning of only an Assistant Manager for the above-mentioned situation, the risk of traffic and road safety is obviously underestimated. Besides, by the 52nd article of the law, drivers have been held responsible for all faulty actions. Furthermore, with the 4th article of the law the upper and lower commissions have been left unauthorized, leaving Turkey alone with this tragedy everyday without any interference from the bureucracy and the governments. Also, because of the consistent changes at the management levels of central and provincial organizations of EGM, specialization on the subject and reaching the public is impossible. In other words, the Highway Traffic Act has not brought safety and security to our roads, but rather a national disaster.
III- 10 BASIC SOLUTIONS FOR LEGAL AND BUREAUCRATIC ISSUES
As an R&D institute, moving by a history 30 years and as a result of our reviews of about 12 countries, we believe that performing the following legal, bureaucratic, educational and physical changes immediately will have positive effects on the elimination of this national disaster.
1. All powers, practices and responsibilities that are described in the Highway Traffic Act should be collected at the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Home Affairs. The construction and control of roads, first aid and emergency actions should be coordinated by a single institution for quick response and effectiveness. The institutions that do not have active responsibility, i.e., NGOs, Universities etc., should be authorized for secondary level duties.
2. Road Traffic Law article nr. 52 should be revised such that, besides the drivers, the responsibilities of institutions and individuals who do not perform their duties, abuse the law and give privilege to other road users should be clearly defined.
3. EGM Traffic Services Directorate, which acts as the coordinator for preventing this national disaster, should be resructured as a specialized institute under the name of "GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF TRAFFIC AND ROAD SAFETY" by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and no placements from other professions should be made to this institution. Theoretical and applied knowledge should be accumulated within the institution with its own dynamics.
4. It should be declared by law that NGOs with focus on national, provincial or district basis traffic and road safety should be supported in terms of office, equipment and projects so that the public awareness on the subject is increased. NGOs that are institutionalized and generate permanent solutions in the area of traffic and road safety should be developed.
5. In the OSS examination, which is taken by 1.5 million high school graduates that are over 18 years, 10 questions related to traffic should be included for improving the awareness of youth on the subject.
6. License examination for driver candidates shold be changed such that at least 50km driving at night in urban and sub-urban, and at least 100km driving during daylight in urban and sub-urban traffic should be maintained. The examinations should be held under the surveillance of an independent committee along with the public representative.
7. The traffic education for approximately 15 million students at the primary and high schools should be given by traffic teachers who have relevant background and pedagogical formation so that the public awareness is increased from the base. This training should be implemented at all schools in Turkey including those in cities, towns and villages.
8. As well as increasing the lower limits of charges for those who cause fatality or injury of others in accidents by violating red lights, driving on alcohol or drugs, and speeding, they should be charged for crimes of wounding and killing knowingly and intentionally. If there are multiple victims, every crime should be charged individually. These charges should under no circumstances be suspended or converted to a fine penalty.
9. The public roads that connect the 81 provinces should immediately be converted to multi-lane divided roads and completed, and horizontal and vertical signalization for day and night driving conditions should be maintained. Roads that are under construction should not be opened to service before they are completed.
10. In all developed countries, traffic campaigns are held for some days of the year. In Turkey, even if it is for a single day, June 21st should be the campaign day for all road users to obey traffic rules 100% in urban and sub-urban traffic. This campaign should be supported by the related public institutions, NGOs, schools, universities, trade associations and local administrations. The preparation for these campaigns should start 30 days in advance and the visual and scientific data gathered from these campaigns should be used for further progress.
On behalf of Road Traffic and Safety Research Association