Local News

Fasters causing serious traffic accidents in Ramadan

National Yemen

traffic accidents in Ramadan are noticeably doubled

Asma Al-Mohattwari

In the last hours of the day, just before breaking his fast, Sami became the victim of a terrible traffic accident that ultimately claimed his life.

His happiness at the arrival of his newborn baby was not yet completed. Sami, a man of, 30, had a very comfortable life with his wife in Sana’a. He was waiting for his first baby to born at the beginning of Ramadan. Both Sami and his wife hailed from Ibb, which led them to decide to have their new baby in their shared hometown.

Sami traveled to Ibb with his wife and left her in her family home where she would stay under the care of her family until the birth of their child. Sami returned to Sana’a to take a holiday and retrieve his salary in order to pay the costs of Welaed and Eid.

Three days after his arrival in Sana’a, he received a call informing him of the birth of his son. He was so happy he “finally became a father.” He left work immediately to return his house and prepare his return to Ibb. While walking to find a taxi for the ride home, a speeding car struck him, killing him instantly, before Sami even was able to give a name to his son.

Unfortunately, in the holy month of Ramadan, traffic problems and vehicle accidents increase precipitously.

Ahmed, a taxi driver, expressed his opinion that Ramadan itself is not complicit in this phenomenon. Fasting during the holy month leads only to hunger and thirst, and cannot be blamed for the transformation of Yemen’s road into fierce battle arenas, causing hundreds of accidents.

“Since the first day of the holy month, we noticed a radical change in the behavior of drivers. Many drivers are angry all the time, especially in the last hours of the day, when accidents and shouting increase without any reason or justification. Except fasting, but fasting is supposed to improve people’s behavior during Ramadan,” Ahmed added.

Traffic reports published by the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday said that 18 people died and 44 were wounded during 28 accidents recorded in the first days of Ramadan.

According to traffic reports, traffic accidents are distributed as follows: 4 incidents involving coup cars resulted the death of 11 people and injured 14 others; 14 incidents involving vehicles crashing killed 6 people and injured 21 others; 10 incidents o f vehicles running over pedestrians caused the death of one person and injured 9 others.

Ali Mohammed said that driving is difficult in Ramadan in general, because most of the infantry in turn does not have lowest sense of consciousness or a culture of walking. This is true even on normal days, but during Ramadan things get worse, sometimes spinning entirely out of control when drivers can’t pay attention because of lack of sleep, deprivation of coffee, cigarettes, Qat and other items whose absence may contribute to the surge of traffic accidents during the month of Ramadan.

Psychology specialist Ebtisam Zaid emphasized that neurons in the month of Ramadan relate to the ability to patience and faith, pointing out that smokers are most likely to fall in the neurons and that cause problems during fasting hours.

She noted that smoking is one of the inner needs that affect the human and his way of life after he has grown accustomed to smoking every day; simply stopping during the holy month can have unanticipated effects.

“Some of fasters are unfamiliar with patience and commitment, so it is difficult for them to fast during Ramadan without causing aggressive reactions to community members and people around them,” she added.

As Ebtisam explained, Emad said before the last hour of fasting that he drives fast to arrive home on time. He admitted that he often becomes very angry and nervous during Ramadan because he cannot chew Qat; these because he can’t chew Qat in Ramadan and that effect badly his driving.

Thousands die each year because of traffic accidents, or what has been called “war of the streets,” an issue that exists largely without the concern of official authorities.

Dr. Salem Mohammed Mjoar, Director of the Yemeni Center for Social Studies and Work Research noted that the number of human losses caused by traffic accidents in amounts to 26 thousand people dead and 167 thousand wounded during the 10 years from 2001-2010. Material losses have reached over 1.5 billion riyal (1.692.259.000).

Abduaslam Al-Hadi said that these incidents are roiling society and the state alike because of the social and economic damage caused by orphaned children, displacement of families and waste of resources.

“The state has the responsibility to secure the roads, meet public safety needs, tighten the legal procedures in granting driving licenses and all other measures necessary to guarantee the safety of citizens, in addition to providing security and preventing crime,” he stated.