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Red light for road deaths in the north

By Kyriacos Kiliaris

A traffic watchdog official in the north says more needs to be done to curb the high number of road deaths within the Turkish Cypriot community.

Earlier this week, a 64-year-old man became the latest road fatality victim in the north in what has been a bloody start to the year in the Turkish Cypriot community.

Salih Celal’s death has raised the ratio of road deaths in the north to one fatality every week. He lost his life whilst driving near Salamis and became the tenth victim since the start of the year.

Huseyin Sevay – who is head of the Association for a Traffic Accident-Free Life (TRAKAYAD) – told the Cyprus Weekly that there are still gaps when it comes to educating people on road safety. He added the administration in the north have failed in implementing road safety education programmes in schools.

“We have offered our help on many issues, but it appears that the politicians do not want to listen. Unfortunately, people in the administration seem to have their own interests at heart as opposed to serving the public.”

He added: “It is not enough to become a good driver in the north. The traffic system is so horrible that the smallest mistake on the road may result in the loss of life or a lifelong injury to someone.”

Meanwhile, the ratio for road accidents per week in the north is around 60.

The previous week saw another two road deaths. One incident was the result of a crash between a lorry and a van, while the other was caused by speeding. Tragically, the widow of a man killed last week in a crash followed him to the grave after suffering a heart attack. They leave behind two underage children. The high number of road fatalities in the north has revived discussions about road safety and measures needed to be applied by the coalition.

Back in December 2016, the Turkish Cypriot community bore witness to mass demonstrations over the death of two school children on the Kyrenia-Pentadaktylos road.

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