To add to Lebanon’s poor roads and a similarly befitting traffic control system, the traffic lights at many of its capital’s major roads and intersections have been critically malfunctioning.
Thankfully, there seems to be a solution on the horizon.
As is the case with most of the country’s problems today, the cause of the failure in maintaining stoplights stems from the lack of money, at least according to the official story.
Considering that, generally speaking, the money that leaves the Lebanese state often seems to lose its way back, it is understandable to expect that changing the pitiful state of these essential traffic-flow devices would take a long time.
After all, it’s a fairly common sight in Lebanon to come across a disfigured road that doesn’t get patched up before weeks, if not months, before the defect reemerges a short while later.
In this case, though, the traffic lights will be fixed for free, according to Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mohammad Fehmi.
On Friday, Minister Fehmi tweeted: “I agreed with NEAD S.A.L., the company responsible for the maintenance of traffic lights in Greater Beirut, to start the work to repair all stoplights in the city.”
“I thank it for its sense of patriotism in maintaining them for free,” he added. In addition to traffic lights, NEAD S.A.L. is in charge of maintaining the parking meters of Beirut.
It’s worth noting that, according to the Traffic Management Center’s latest statistics, Lebanon has recorded a significant surge in road accidents over the past 3 months, the period wherein more than half of its stoplights started to fail.
In April, for example, the total number of accidents was 207. The figure soared to 310 in May and rose again to 356 in June.
While it wouldn’t be accurate to attribute the sudden increase in road accidents solely to the traffic lights issue, it has certainly contributed substantially to the problem.