AMMONNEWS - Children under the age of five are the most likely to be killed in road accidents in Jordan, according to recent statistics.
The Central Traffic Department’s (CTD) 2015 study of road accidents showed that children under five years old recorded the highest rate of deaths among pedestrians, with 34.17 per cent.
Around 17.59 per cent were between the ages of three and five, while 16.58 per cent were under the age of three.
According to initial records from 2016, 67 pedestrian children aged five and younger were killed after being hit by vehicles, three more deaths than in 2015.
Lt. Col. Yaser Habahbeh, the director of the CTD’s traffic accidents investigation department, said such fatal accidents often occur while the child is crossing main or subsidiary roads, in residential areas while skating or riding bicycles, and also in home garages.
“In many cases the father, brother or uncle does not pay attention to the child playing behind or under the car, and they run them over in the garage,” Habahbeh told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
He said the family’s role is crucial for road safety in the early years, as parents are responsible for teaching their children how to deal with roads.
Parents should not allow their children to play in streets, but instead in playgrounds, and should teach them to walk on the pavement, or to walk against the traffic if there are no pavements, Habahbeh encouraged.
He also advised that children should wear reflective colours at night because motorists may not be able to see pedestrians wearing dark clothes.
Nizar Al Abedi, president of the Jordanian Society for the Prevention of Road Accidents (JSPRA), cited parental neglect and lack of awareness as the main causes of the problem, explaining that pre-schoolers are not included in any kind of Public Security Department awareness campaign.
Abedi said that many pavements are not suitable for pedestrians because they have many trees and obstacles, so people have no choice other than to walk on the road.
The JSPRA president said he considers the media, government, NGOs and every member of society responsible for raising and spreading road safety awareness.
He claimed that even awareness campaigns in schools are not at acceptable rates, because advice or lectures are not enough to create awareness among a generation.
“Even in schools, some lectures about traffic and road accidents are not enough. Traffic education should be part of the curricula, at least part of the activities in class — 15 minutes a week,” he urged.