Daquq highway: 20 traffic accidents, 28 victims in August

Kirkuk, 2023, a traffic accident in Daquq, on Baghdad-Kirkuk highway. KirkukNow

By Mohammed Almass in Kirkuk

Seven people were killed and dozens of others were injured in 20 traffic accidents on the highway of Daquq district south of Kirkuk within a month.

According to (KirkukNow) follow-ups and official statistics obtained by from the Kirkuk Traffic Directorate, 20 traffic accidents were recorded on the main road between Kirkuk and Baghdad within the boundaries of Daquq district within a month.

These accidents resulted in the death of seven people and the injury of more than 21 others.

The latest accident occurred around 10:00 pm on Monday, August 21 near Daquq. According to a source told (KirkukNow), five people were killed and another person was injured when two vehicles collided.

The road linking Kirkuk and Baghdad, especially within the borders of Daquq district, which connects Kirkuk and the governorates of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR with Baghdad, is one of the roads that witnesses frequent traffic accidents, which made its users call it the "Death Road."

The relevant authorities blame the motorists for over speeding and distraction.

The spokesman for the Kirkuk Traffic Directorate, Colonel Amer Nariman, told KirkukNow, “I can say that 70% of the causes of these accidents are due to the drivers’ non-compliance with traffic laws and instructions, 15% of them are due to bad roads, and the other 15% are due to non-compliance with the traffic laws and instructions and conditions for durability.”

Video: A traffic accident in Daquq where five people died and one injured, Kirkuk, August 21, 2023. KirkukNow

According to statistics and a study conducted by the Central Statistical Organization, last year witnessed the registration of 408 traffic accidents in the Northern, Oil-Rich province of Kirkuk, which resulted in the death of 212 people and the injury of 472 others.

The report attributed the occurrence of these accidents mainly to excessive speed, inattention and wrong overtaking of cars, followed by the lack of durability conditions in vehicles and poor streets.

Of the total number of accidents recorded last year in Kirkuk, 111 of them occurred within the boundaries of Daquq district, resulting in the death of 83 people and the injury of 187 others.

Drivers in general and particularly Kirkuk-Baghdad taxi drivers complain of the poor conditions of the highway near Tuz Khurmatu and Daquq which they call (Death Road) due to frequent fatal accidents.

“I lost my father and my uncle, and I suffered from health problems that made me lose the ability to move my hands,” said Rashid Tayyar, 21, a traffic accident victim in Daquq.

"I miraculously survived," he told KirkukNow, after the private vehicle he was driving collided with a passenger vehicle. Rashid was hospitalized for 20 days and underwent two surgeries. "I cannot move my arm and I am constantly receiving physical therapy."

He admits that "vehicle drivers are one of the causes of accidents, and there are other factors related to poor roads."

The main road linking Kirkuk and Baghdad is 400 kilometers long. In October 2022, the government has decided to rehabilitate it. Work continued to restore the Rokhana Bridge on Daquq Road for several weeks. Rokhana Bridge was damaged due to torrential rains in the winter of 2021, and traffic was confined to one of the two lanes of the bridge.

Video: a car with its passengers fell in the Daquq water project, Kirkuk, July 2023. KirkukNow

The spokesman for the Kirkuk Traffic Directorate attributes most of the traffic accidents to the drivers due to their non-compliance with the instructions and exceeding the speed limit.

He also indicated that the poor roads, for example, the closure of one of the lanes of the Daquq Bridge, are among the other reasons behind the occurrence of a traffic accident in the region.

"We believe that if drivers adhere to the instructions and fasten seat belts, the number of accident victims will decrease," according to Colonel Nariman, adding that the Directorate is constantly seeking to educate citizens through seminars with the aim of reducing traffic accidents.

During the past months, Daquq Road witnessed many horrific traffic accidents that claimed the lives of dozens of citizens, including the accident that occurred on July 8, which resulted in the death of three people from one family, and on April 29, a vehicle overturned and fell into Daquq water project, killing four people. On April 22, a man and two of his children were killed in a traffic accident.

During the past year, 11,523 traffic accidents were recorded in all governorates of Iraq, with the exception of the IKR, resulting in the death of 3,021 people and the injury of more than 12,000.

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