Blood on the asphalt: Egypt’s roads problem
Theme parks can be compared with these roads
Egypt’s roads are not leveled and many drivers are not disciplined. There are no signs of any security deterrence on roads and bridges. Even if there is, it's a materialistic presence. Cars zoom past quickly, crossing paths and racing.
A large vehicle could be on the right side of the road and its driver may suddenly decide to deviate to the left without prior warning because he/ she wants to win a “race” against a car ahead. A cocky police officer drives his car irresponsibly as a soldier sits next to him in surrender. A boy is driving a three-wheeled rickshaw because he has decided to defy everyone around him. A cart carries garbage and is being drawn by a donkey. Delivery motorbikes jump between cars as they race with time and defy the capabilities of the vehicle they're driving. Amid all this, microbus drivers argue with many around them as they scream out their destinations. Theme parks can be compared with these roads.
Theme parks can be compared with these roadsAbdel Latif el-Menawy
Somewhere amid this chaotic scene, a crash occurs and blood is shed on the asphalt - or whatever is left of it.
Unfortunately, many transportation vehicle drivers do drugs, and a high percentage of road accidents are because of them. Blood analysis campaigns used to deter them and force them to adhere to safety measures. This helped reduce the number of accidents caused by transportation vehicles.
However, accidents are also caused by the absence of road signs and lighting, poor road conditions, and the thoughtlessness and inattention of private vehicle drivers.
Estimates of the number of deaths caused by road accidents range from around 8,000 to 12,000 a year. What is agreed on is that Egypt ranks highest in terms of such accidents, according to the World Health Organization. This has led to economic losses estimated at 17 billion Egyptian pounds a year.
This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy