Shocking Holiday Death Toll On Turkey’s Roads – Wildfires Shut A9, Again

NEWS: the shocking road trip carnage in Turkey over the Eid holiday. After a second day of autoroute-shutting wildfires, fire crews in south west France will be relieved that the region is now under storm alert. Some British family members are tragically killed in a crash in Croatia. A UK road safety group comes out in support of the upcoming Cross-Border Enforcement directive. New Irish drivers are forced to display a large badge in their windscreens, a bottleneck bridge toll is lifted in Romania and, one way and another, speeding hits the headlines in Luxembourg.

TODAY: Busy at Dover. National day Switzerland. Floods Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: quiet overnight and this morning, up to 40mins mid-afternoon, max 25mins since.

CALAIS TRUCKS MIGRANT’S PETITION: 3,008 signatures since 15.7. See @Justice4Trucker.

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THE SHOCKING HOLIDAY DEATH TOLL ON TURKEY’S ROADS

The number of accidents breaks even last year’s ‘record’.

Turkey: a relatively minor accident. Photo via @radyotrafik06

Turkey: a relatively minor accident. Photo via @radyotrafik06

The Eid holiday in Turkey always exacts a terrible death toll on Turkey’s road. This year it was worse than ever.

Last August, 88 people were killed and 4,711 injured, itself a record. In this past week, 109 people were killed and 4,002 injured, 852 of them seriously.

The three day Eid holiday, which finished on Wednesday – also known locally as Ramadan Bayrami – marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast. Many families visit relatives around the country, often by car. This year Eid combined with the weekend for a five day break which may have contributed to the figures.

The long distances involved – Turkey is 1,200 miles across – mean fatigue plays a role, as does careless driving and drink driving according to a message from prime minister Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the holidays.

Overall there are around 130 road deaths per million of population in Turkey each year according to the World Health Organisation, over four times the UK level.

We know many people who have driven through Turkey – @Yomadic, @TasteOfTravel, @LeighTurnerFCO and, just a few days ago, @DoInIt on the Mongol Rally. None have had any problems, in fact, quite the opposite. But take extra care, or stay off the roads entirely, over the Eid period.

Another Eid festival, ten days this time, is due at the end of October. Last year a barely credible 131 people died and more than 6,000 were injured in 3,319 separate incidents.

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For the second day in a row, the A9 along the west Mediterranean coast in France closed yesterday afternoon after smoke from a nearby forest fire engulfed the carriageway. Fire fighters, including airborne crews, brought the flames quickly under control this time and normal service resumed within a couple of hours. With the region now under storm alert, this scenario is unlikely to play out for a third day. Meanwhile, a Geisterfahrer – wrong way driver – caused similar delays on the A2 into Hannover last night. Reports say the man, who unfortunately died, was driving a locally-registered Opel.

For the second day in a row, the A9 along the west Mediterranean coast in France closed yesterday afternoon after smoke from a nearby forest fire engulfed the carriageway. Fire fighters, including airborne crews, brought the flames quickly under control this time and normal service resumed within a couple of hours. With the region now under storm alert, this scenario is unlikely to play out for a third day. Meanwhile, a Geisterfahrer – wrong way driver – caused similar delays on the A2 into Hannover last night. Reports say the man, who unfortunately died, was driving a locally-registered Opel.

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roundup: CROATIA. A British man and two children were killed in a road accident near Dubrovnik yesterday according to Travel Weekly. A woman and two children are being treated in hospital. TRAFFIC FINES. There is overwhelming support for the new directive on Cross-Border Enforcement says road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist after a survey of its members. By May 2015, all EU drivers will be liable for traffic fines incurred in other EU and EEA countries. The British government previously opted-out, along with Ireland and Denmark. LUXEMBOURG. A driver evaded a police speed trap last night by racing past at 181kmh on the N6 Route d’Arlon. Meanwhile, the upcoming influx of speed cameras is kicking up a stink over data protection laws: along with Austria, the Duchy does not allow dashcams over privacy fears. IRELAND. As of today, new drivers are required to display a red N in the top left of their windscreens for the first two years, in case you were wondering. ROMANIA. The toll on the Fetesti Bridge across the Danube, on the A2 between Bucharest and Constanta, is suspended for summer weekends, Friday-Monday, 13:00-12:00, in an attempt to dispel regular two hour queues.

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