SINCE we opened our eyes to this world, a particular aspect of traffic law has not changed for decades. What I mean here is that in case of a traffic accident involving two or more vehicles, we usually find the drivers of vehicles involved in the accident waiting for a traffic expert in the middle of the street.
The traffic expert, who is expected to appear after a few minutes or even hours, analyzes the situation and drafts the accident report for those involved in the accident to sign before his eyes in fear of being defrauded by insurance companies which have never experienced losses in their annual budget.
The entire process causes massive traffic congestion, especially on vital roads where hundreds of people end up arriving late to their destinations such as their workplaces, homes, hospital or even a court session or an urgent matter that needs immediate attention, etc.
The reason behind this lagging procedure is that the law, government and insurance companies do not trust citizens or residents. Everyone assumes that insured drivers will agree among themselves to defraud their insurance companies by lying about how the accident occurred and who committed the mistake.
This can happen through fabrication of the entire accident, even if the accident did not occur, in the sense that two or more people decide to close the road with their dented cars. Once the traffic police or expert arrives at the scene, they tell him a cooked up story which the expert jots down and then the involved parties will sign the report.
Once the traffic report is signed, the insurance company will act according to details of the report without any discussion, so every necessary detail is presented appropriately … and that is it.
I call upon our brothers in backwardness. Why not take the experiences of advanced countries in dealing with such issues? I mean, why not take the experience of advanced countries — the core of which is trust in their citizens and expatriates?
Once when I was in France, I was driving from the city of Aix-en-Provence heading to a resort or a town located in French Riviera. During that trip, I was with my friends and it was autumn, given that I do not visit such places in summer.
While we were waiting in traffic near one of the entrances to the glamorous city; a long vehicle recklessly went past by our car, hitting the side and crushing the backdoor.
The long vehicle stopped on the road side, not at the scene of accident. By then, pedestrians have already gathered around and several of them told me that they witnessed the accident, saying it was the mistake of the truck driver.
The pedestrians gave me their phone numbers which they wrote on a white paper in case their testimony is needed. On the other hand, the truck driver came to the car I was driving and asked me to get on his truck where he acknowledged his mistake.
The driver reached for his truck’s glove box, pulled out a form called ‘constat amiable d’accident automobile’ — an accident report form stating facts about the accident as agreed by those involved in the accident. All of us signed the form where we also put our personal information, and after that, we went our separate ways.
I took the car back to Nice Airport where I rented the car. The persons in charge at the car rental office saw the huge dent on the backdoor, and to my surprise, they were not shocked at all.
Instead, they requested for the accident report. After that, they simply asked me to choose an alternative car and that was the end of the story.
We dedicate this story to those who are fond of backwardness, frustration and delay in our well-guided government which is represented by the Ministry of Interior and its worn-out Traffic Department.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli – Former Minister of Oil