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Baroud announces new measures amid calls for road safety

Baroud announces new measures amid calls for road safety

By Carol Rizk and The Daily Star
Daily Star staff
Thursday, September 09, 2010

 BEIRUT: The Youth Association for Social Awareness (YASA) made several demands to the Cabinet on Wednesday in order to improve road security, a day after Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud announced immediate and long-term traffic measures.

Both declarations came as a reaction to the deadly car accident that occurred on the Jiyyeh Highway on Tuesday, killing 6 people and injuring more than 19.

YASA issued a statement in which it asked Cabinet to take several steps such as activating the committee tasked with solving traffic problems.

It stressed the need to hasten the appointment of a new president and new board for the Department of Motor Vehicles, as the authority has been without the latter since 2005.

YASA also demanded the creation of a special traffic administration within the Internal Security Forces (ISF) “and this based on the repeated recommendations of both the Arab Interior Ministers Council and the council of traffic authority chiefs in the Arab world.”

The association then focused on the need to immediately implement traffic laws, maintain international standards for roads and update driving tests. “Examining committees for driving tests should be competent and transparent,” the statement said.

Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud paid his condolences to the families of the victims of Tuesday’s crash.

On Tuesday he held a news conference, in the presence of ISF Commander General Ashraf Rifi and YASA president Ziad Akl, and said immediate and long-term traffic measures would be taken.

The immediate measures mainly consist of arming policemen with speed radars and punishing traffic-law violators.

“We are working with less than the required minimum in terms of equipment … Radars are our top priority,” he said, stressing that everyone was responsible for road victims, including himself.


Baroud added that officials as well as citizens should assume their responsibilities by respecting the law and upholding driving principles.

The interior minister asked that ISF members who breached traffic laws or neglected their jobs also be severely punished, and called for deploying traffic patrols.

“There is no reason why there shouldn’t be patrols to pursue violators, especially on highways,” he said.

“There should be firm measures, whether the law allows it or not. Violators should be punished because they are responsible for the murder of citizens,” Baroud added.

As for the long-term measures, they mainly include raising the cost of fines.

Baroud said he suggested increasing them by five times their current amount but discussions with ministers settled on a threefold increase. “I think even five times is too little. Fines should be effective and really hurt,” he added.

Baroud then asked politicians and influential people not to offer help to any traffic law violator. He also asked traffic officers to contact him if they were ever put under pressure.

On Wednesday, Ziyad Baroud held a meeting with Gendarmerie Commander Antoine Shakkour and traffic officers. He gave the officers instructions to follow during the busy Eid al-Fitr period and listened to their complaints.

The minister also decided to hold traffic security days throughout Lebanon starting September 13. – The Daily Star


Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=119133#ixzz0zn5A799m
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb) Paste

Lebanon , Traffic Law

Date: 9/17/2010 4:44:38 PM

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