Road accidents kill on average 1,500 people a year in Tunisia, according to a report by the Global Road Safety Partnership.
Tunisia’s recorded rate of 24.5 percent of road deaths per capita dwarfs those from France (5 percent) and Canada (6 percent). However, it is a marked improvement on one of the country’s closest neighbors, Libya who recorded a rate of 73, 5 percent.
In a separate study by Targa Consulting, Tunisia was ranked 138th out of 180 countries worldwide in terms of annual road fatalities.
According to Targa, The main cause of accidents is road crossing, following distraction and lack of attention while driving and speeding.
In recent years, Tunisia has adopted a wide range of policies intended to improve road safety, however seat-belt laws; if regarded at all, do not apply to passengers in the rear seats, and no child safety legislation has been passed. Measures against drink-driving are also laxly enforced, with breath testing facilities unavailable at most police checkpoints.
Based on last year’s figures, the deadliest month of the year was July, with 163 deaths recorded over just the one month.
However, in recent years the overall trend in road traffic fatalities gives some cause for optimism, with an overall decrease in the number of fatalities since Tunisia’s deadliest year, 2012.
However, the country has yet to make any public commitment to any strategy designed to reduce the overall rate of fatalities upon Tunisia’s roads.
Speaking in June of this year, Syrine Guediche, spokesperson from the Association of Road Safety told Tunisia Live, “We hope that we will be able to reduce car accidents, because they are not only costing lives, but accidents are also causing huge financial losses to the country’s wider economy.
“Our infrastructure, along with the safety precautions designed to alleviate accidents are not very advanced when compared to developed countries.” She added.