EVENT



World Health Organization Releases Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015

23-10-2015

The World Health Organization released the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 that contained detailed profiles of different countries’ progress in the field of Road Safety.



Lebanon’s detailed profile in the report brought back a handful of good news but many other bad ones.

Good news

Lebanese laws follow international standards

Lebanon is on the right track towards better road safety.
The New Lebanese Traffic Law has abided by international recommendation regarding several laws:
  • Limiting the national speed at 50 km/h in urban areas, 70 km/h in rural areas and 100 km/h on highways.
  • Limiting the blood alcohol level concentration (b.a.c.) at 0.5 gr/l, and 0 for drivers with less than 3 years of driving experience.
  • Seatbelt law that also applies to rear seat occupants
  • Child restraint law based on age and setting restrictions on children sitting in the front seat. (Lebanon is only one in three Arabian countries who have set this law, along with Gaza Strip and Saudi Arabia)
  • Banning the use of mobile, whether hand-held or hands-free, while driving
  • Banning drug-driving

These laws are undoubtedly an important step towards the right direction, however, what is the use of laws without the correct enforcement?

Bad news

Low law enforcement rating

The highest rate for Lebanon’s law enforcement was 5/10 for Speed Limit law and Drink-Driving law. Followed by 3/10 for seat-belt enforcement, 2/10 for motorcycle helmet, and 0 for child restraint.


Lack of Data & Inaccurate Reporting

But the flaw that is most striking is Lebanon’s serious lack of data collection and correct reporting.

According to the WHO report, Lebanon has set a road safety strategy and has regular inspections of existing road infrastructure, which are not exact facts.

More importantly, the WHO has had to resort to data collected in 2013 (for Deaths by Road User) and sometimes use information that date back to 2004 (for Seat-Belt Wearing Rate).

Road traffic collisions strongly hinder Lebanon’s economic development

Traffic collisions are costing Lebanon 3.2-4.8% of its GDP, yearly

According to the WHO, the estimated GDP lost due to road traffic crashes amount to 3.2 – 4.8% (USD 1.5M – USD 2.2M) yearly. However, this number was the result of a study conducted back in 2004.

Kunhadi estimates that currently traffic collisions cost Lebanon 5.2% of its GDP, which amounts to USD 1.8 Billion.



Conclusion

Since the New Traffic Law was put into action, Kunhadi consistently warned against the fading of law enforcement, as it is known to happen to every Lebanese law, and urged the Prime Minister to call for the meeting of the National Council for Road Safety in order to
set a comprehensive plan for road safety that would include all concerned parties to coordinate and organize road safety in Lebanon.

This is the only legal step to correctly implement the New Traffic Law, that will, according to Kunhadi, succeed in decreasing traffic fatalities by a minimum of 35%, which will generate at least a 1.5% increase in Lebanon’s GDP.

To download the full WHO report, click here
To download the summary, click here.
To read Lebanon's full report, click here.