Myanmar road fatalities continue to rise

YANGON — The amount of people dying on Myanmar’s roads has risen 50 percent in the past four years, surpassing 4,000 in 2015, the latest figures show.

According to a report in the Global New Light of Myanmar on January 7, 4,233 people died in 15,300 road accidents in Myanmar in 2015, averaging more than 11 deaths per day. The number is an increase from 2,811 deaths in 9,762 accidents in 2011 and 4,163 in 14,781 cases in 2014. With a number of accidents going unreported, the number of road casualties is likely to be much higher than the official figure.

According to figures from the World Health Organization, Myanmar has one of the worst road death ratios in the WHO-classified Southeast Asia region of 11 countries, which includes India, Sri Lanka and North Korea. In 2011, there were 15 deaths per 100,000 population in Myanmar. The worst ratio by far is Thailand, which had 38.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

An estimated 1.24 million people die on roads every year worldwide, a tally of 3,400 people per day, according to the WHO. Low- and middle-income countries such as Myanmar account for about 50 percent of the world’s vehicle traffic but nearly 90 percent of traffic deaths.

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