MEN cause the overwhelming majority of road accidents in Bahrain – and most of those responsible are Bahrainis, according to official data.
In 81.5 per cent of traffic accidents men are to blame, revealed traffic culture director at the General Directorate of Traffic Lieutenant Colonel Osama Bahar.
He added that 68pc of accidents were caused by Bahrainis and said in many cases the drivers at fault were trying to show off for “beautiful girls”.
Lt Col Bahar shared the statistics as he appeared at the Southern Municipal Council’s weekly meeting yesterday.
“We are working to restore Bahrain’s reputation as a disciplined driving community,” he told councillors.
“The problem is that many are willing to break the law, whether manoeuvring or skidding cars or motorcycles regardless of the consequences believing it is cool, but it is not.
“Racing is another problem and most of the time we are playing hide and seek with those involved taking their reckless driving to main roads, showing off whenever they spot beautiful girls.
“Men are behind the majority of road accidents in Bahrain, 81.5pc according to latest statistics, and this is an ongoing pattern unfortunately.”
He revealed there were now 686,622 vehicles registered on Bahrain’s roads, 249,515 in the Capital Governorate, 195,051 in Northern, 130,759 in Southern and 111,297 in Muharraq.
However, he said additional traffic patrols was not the answer to curb the number of accidents.
“It is illogical to have traffic policemen at every corner just to ensure people respect the law,” said Lt Col Bahar.
He said that would make sense if the problem was related to poor road design, but added the main issue was drivers flouting traffic rules.
“People just want to do things that disregard the rules,” he added.
To illustrate his point he said most serious accidents in the Southern Governorate in recent years happened on roads that had speed limits of 60kmph to 80kmph.
“Most serious accidents in the Southern Governorate occurred on 60kmph to 80kmph roads,” he said.
“They have seen 830 accidents in recent years and 29 deaths, with most accidents caused by jumping red lights.”
That compares with 215 accidents in the same governorate during the same period on roads with 100kmph speed limits.
Meanwhile, he said drivers caught with illegally-modified cars often repeated the offence despite facing penalties.
“A week after the punishment the same driver is caught with the same issue and so on,” he said.
Councillors expressed concern during the meeting about motorcycle safety, following a fatal accident on Al FAteh Highway on Monday in which a 27-year-old Bahraini died.
Lt Col Bahar said it was the third motorcycle fatality this year, while there have been 17 serious injuries involving bikers so far in 2018.
This compares with 10 motorcycle deaths last year and seven in 2016.
Council chairman Ahmed Al Ansari said claimed motorcycle accidents were occurring because roadside cameras were unable to record licence plates of speeding bikers.
“We are not dealing with children, they are grown adults, but they think showing off is worth risking their life for - especially in front of beautiful women drivers,” he added.
“I am not saying motorcycles should be banned because there are good uses for them, such as deliveries and even as convenient transportation, but they are being misused most of the time.
“Those caught should be handed the maximum punishment because they are deliberately contributing to their deaths and those of others.”
Mr Al Ansari honoured 30 traffic policemen for their contribution to road safety following the meeting.