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Dangerous roads are safer for you, says Egyptian official

Egypt has one of the world's highest traffic accident mortality rates [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 February, 2016

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Potholed Egyptian roads are actually safer for you than newly paved streets, according to Egypt's head of roads and bridges.
Bad roads are safer for drivers Adel Turk, Egypt's head of the roads and bridges told local press on Monday and blamed fog for the huge number of road accidents on the country's roads. 

Turk also blamed unruly drivers for deaths on the roads and said the poorly maintained streets are actually safer for drivers.

"The worse the condition the roads are in the fewer accidents there are. Potholed roads are better than good roads because damaged roads force drivers to slow down, and therefore, cause less accidents," said Turk.

"Here, accidents are caused by careless motorists and fog," added Turk.

He said that only five percent of road accidents were caused by poor infrastructure and that this was "a good percentage" compared to the global average.

The dubious comments come days after a massive accident that killed at least 16 people in a multi-car pile-up near the city of Beni Suef, south of Cairo, on Sunday.

Following the accident, Turk called into a TV talk show to blame the victims for the crash.

"We cannot be quick to judge or blame it all on roads. Fog and ill-equipped drivers are largely at fault," he said.

Unfortunately, comments such as these are not uncommon.

Egypt's director of highways said last September that the solution to high rates of crashes was to begin teaching people to drive in accordance with the law, not repair and build new roads.

"I have been the director of highways in Egypt for a long time, and when I tried to take a driving exam abroad I failed," he admitted.

Egypt has one of the world's highest traffic accident mortality rates.

Deadly road crashes take place on a near daily basis in Egypt, which is notorious for poor road safety, badly maintained infrastructure and loosely enforced traffic regulations.

The country's official statistics agency said in December that over 2,800 people were killed in road and train crashes in Egypt in the first half of 2015.

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