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Baroud promises to boost motoring-law enforcement.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: The road safety awareness group KunHadi celebrated its third anniversary with a dinner and address from Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, who told the group that road accidents in Lebanon last year had claimed 10 times as many fatalities as criminal acts.AaBaroud told his audience in Achrafieh on Thursday night that the 2008 statistics revealed around 800 fatalities from accidents, compared to 83 people who had been killed by crime.

BEIRUT: The road safety awareness group KunHadi celebrated its third anniversary with a dinner and address from Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, who told the group that road accidents in Lebanon last year had claimed 10 times as many fatalities as criminal acts.AaBaroud told his audience in Achrafieh on Thursday night that the 2008 statistics revealed around 800 fatalities from accidents, compared to 83 people who had been killed by crime.Aa

Baroud referred to earlier remarks by the association's president, Fadi Jebran, who said that reducing the phenomenon of drunk driving was one of his group's top priorities.Aa

"What we need to do," Baroud said, "is be aware of our responsibilities, and as Mr. Jebran said, a driver's vision becomes narrower when he or she drinks. I'd like to say that there are people whose vision is narrow even without drinking."Aa

Baroud said the country's traffic law, "which was enacted at the beginning of the 20th century," was inappropriate for 2010, due in part to the massive increase in the number of vehicles on Lebanon's roads.Aa

The minister added that the government would respond to the Internal Security Forces' requirements for more personnel to monitor traffic on the country's roads.Aa

"The state will certainly help the traffic police, and provide the number [of policemen] that we require," the minister said, urging drivers and the public to also do their part to help traffic enforcement personnel make the roads safer.Aa

Baroud also referred to his ministry's crackdown on unregulated and chaotic motorcycle traffic, saying that "I'm not against people who ride motorcycles, but I am against those who speed when they ride motorcycles without observing safety [requirements]."Aa

Baroud recalled that in 1988, he was told by European friends that Lebanon's roads were Aamore dangerous than its military front lines.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Nov 7, 2009
Words:396
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