Defender Center for Human Rights

CHRDA & libyan civil organizations: Road Traffic Competing with Security Chaos in Claiming Lives

Statement by a Number of Civil Society Organizations 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Despite being a country with a population of less than 7 million people, and an area of ​​more than 1.7 million square kilometers, Libya ranks first in the world in the number of road accident deaths with regard to its population.  Road Traffic has started to compete with political and security crises in the daily death toll.

 According to the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of National Accord, Libya ranks first in the world as for the level of road accident victims, compared to its population, as it recorded 2,500 deaths and more than 4,000 road accidents in 2018, while material losses due to these accidents amounted to 29 million dinars. According to the World Health Organization report, the rate of deaths from road accidents per 100,000 people in Libya in 2013 was 60.1, and in 2014 it reached 73.4: the highest in the world.

According to Libyan government statistics of 2014, road accidents in Libya caused the death of more than fifty thousand (50’000) victims during the past forty (40) years. Although the statistics indicate a decrease in the number of deaths caused by road accidents during the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 compared to the years 2013-2015, the rates are still considered very high compared to the world average.

The World Health Organization report for 2018 indicates that Libya has no funds allocated in the budget for developing road safety strategies. On a scale of 10, Libya scored only two degrees in the scale of law enforcement in the area of ​​limiting excessive speeding, and only one score in the scale of requiring regular and motorcycle drivers to use helmets, and the report indicates that there are no measurement standards for vehicles.

The irregular publication of statistics by the Ministry of the Interior in Libya makes it difficult to track and analyze official statistics on road accidents and casualties resulting from them. The Ministry of the Interior published summary statistics for the first half of the year 2019 indicating that 2,626 road accidents took place, resulting in 959 deaths and 2,111 injuries. And the latest statistics published are related to the third quarter of 2019.

When comparing the results of the statistics for the first half of 2018 and 2019, we notice an increase in the number of accidents by 35% in 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, and similarly we notice an increase in the number of deaths by 8% and the number of injuries by 19%. By comparing the statistics for the first nine months of 2018 and 2019, we note that the increase in deaths was at 6% and injuries increased by 14%, which is something negative, since after the decline in rates during the last three years, we witness an increase in death and injury rates, and because of the lack of any statistics since October 2019, it is difficult to determine whether the rates declined or continued to increase.

The relevant government agencies remain primarily responsible for road safety and law enforcement, and media and educational institutions have a fundamental role to play in raising awareness of the dangers of misuse of roads and of non-compliance with safety standards. The interaction of relevant government agencies, media and scientific institutions remains weak and does not match the size of the problem.

The organizations signing this statement call on the government and law enforcement institutions in Libya to pay attention to the enforcement of the following points:

1) The enforcement of the law regarding the legal speed on roads and respect for traffic lights and signs.

2) The compulsory use of seat belts, the use of special seats and seat belts for children inside vehicles, and the compulsory use of helmets for cyclists and motorcyclists.

3) The prevention of driving under the influence of alcohol and other psychotropic substances as well as of the use of phones while driving.

4) The continuous monitoring and evaluation of the status of road safety, paying attention to road maintenance and applying the approved safety standards.

5) Not to allow the supply or use of obsolete and unsafe vehicles, and to pay attention to the standards of roadworthiness of vehicles through periodic technical inspection of vehicles.

6) Calling on the Ministry of Interior to set up awareness and education programs on the importance of safety measures and of the respect for traffic rules and signals, to cooperate with traffic officers in the performance of their duties, and to broadcast and implement these programs through media channels and educational institutions on an ongoing basis.

7)Calling on the Ministry of Interior to pay more attention to documenting and publishing statistics related to road safety indicators.

8) Reviewing and developing traffic laws in line with modern developments.

9) The need to develop national strategies to reduce road accident victims and allocate appropriate financial budgets for this.

10) Not allowing minors to drive motorized vehicles, severely punishing those who forge driving licenses, and developing and modernizing the methods used in the training of vehicle drivers.

Signatory organizations:

  1. Abirine Oganization for assisting migrants and displaced persons, Tobruk
  2. Biladi Foundation for Human Rights, Sabratha
  3. Female Human Rights Defenders without Bonds “Houqouqyat bela qouyoud”, Benghazi
  4. “Sawt Al Mouhajer” Organization, Al-Zawiya
  5. Human Rights Solidarity Organization, Tripoli
  6. Ihqaq Organization for Sustainable Development, Women’s rights and Child Rights, Tripoli
  7. Thought Pioneers Organization, Maters
  8. Al-Tebyan Association for Human Rights, Darj
  9. The International Arab Organization for Women’s Rights, Tripoli
  10. Al-Bariq Organization for Child Rights, Tripoli
  11. National Unity Organization. Misrata
  12. February 17th Organization for Environment and Human Rights, Tripoli
  13. Al-Aman Organization Against Racial Discrimination – Murzuq.
  14. Urban Organization for Civil Orientation – Kufra.
  1. The Women’s Wisdom Association for Women and Culture – Kufra
  2. Čabu Association for Culture and Heritage – Kufra.
  3. “extend a helping hand” Association for charitable work – Kufra
  4. Social Cultural Communication Organization – Ubari.
  5. South Hope Organization for Peace and Sustainable Development – Murzuq
  6. Rabiana Cultural Forum – Rabiana
  7. “Youmn” Organization for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, Misrata
  8. The Libya Organization for Cultural Development, Tripoli
  9. “Youmn” Organization for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, Misrata
  10. “Bedaya” Organization for Awareness and Human Rights, Tripoli
  11. “Nabdh al Hayat” Organization for Charitable Works and Development, Bani Walid
  12. Defender Center for Human Rights