The Minister of Interior, Sandër Lleshaj, declared the reduced number of accidents during the first 7 months of the year as an achievement. Mr. Lleshaj, in the analysis of this achievement, “failed” to mention the three-month pandemic restrictions, during which Albanian citizens were subject to either partial or complete driving prohibition.
“We declared 2020 as the Road Safety Year, aiming to continue lowering the accidents curve, with the goal of zero lives lost in 2050. The number of lives saved in the past 7 months is a significant indicator of the work performed by institutions and the increased responsibility of drivers and road users”, wrote Minister Lleshaj on social media.
How real are the figures
The figures indicate a clear decrease in the number of accidents compared to last year.
However, during March, April and May, Albania underwent both complete and then partial driving prohibition due to COVID-19.
If we were to look at the data on accidents published by the Institute of Statistics for each month, since January to July of this year, during March, April and May, which correspond to the driving restrictions, accidents were halved.
In March, there were a total of 65 accidents, compared to 127 in the previous year during the same period, or 48.8% fewer accidents.
In April, there were 51 accidents compared to 112 in the previous year, or 54.5% fewer accidents.
In May, there were 75 accidents compared to 115 in May 2019 or 34.8% fewer accidents.
Thus, it would be logical to have fewer accidents in the three months during complete (or partial) quarantine and driving restrictions.
However, this was not a adequate reason for Minister Lleshaj not to declare the reduced number of accidents as an achievement in view of the Road Safety Year.