Burmese Govt Blames Drivers for Most Highway Accidents

By The Irrawaddy 16 May 2014

RANGOON — In the wake of a highway accident that killed 14 people on Monday, Burma’s deputy minister of construction has said that drivers, vehicle failure and weather conditions all contribute to accidents, and that poor road conditions alone should not be blamed.

The Mirror newspaper, a daily publication by the Burmese government, reported Friday that a thorough study had been conducted to analyze accidents on the road that links Rangoon, Naypyidaw and Mandalay. The study found that most accidents were due to driver error, with vehicle failure the second biggest cause. Only 1 percent of accidents were due to poor road quality, the newspaper reports.

“To prevent further accidents on the highway, a collaboration between government, bus lines and experts is needed,” Soe Tin, the deputy minister, was quoted as saying.

An unnamed official was quoted as saying, “The Ministry of Construction is responsible for these accidents. We have vowed to make the highway safe for public travel.”

Completed in 2009, the highway between Rangoon, Naypyidaw and Mandalay had seen more than 400 accidents as of last year, resulting in the deaths of 216 people.