RABAT, (Reuters) – Eight people died and 22 were injured when a coach overturned in central Morocco on Monday, the second deadly coach crash reported in three days, state news agency MAP said.
Seven passengers were killed when the driver lost control of the coach as it entered the town of Berrechid, south of the economic capital Casablanca, while an eighth died in hospital, MAP cited local authorities as saying.
Despite a high-profile road safety campaign, the number of people dying on Morocco’s roads has grown this year, with 317 people killed in 4,551 accidents in September alone, up from 4,359 accidents and 299 deaths in the same month a year earlier.
Coaches are the transport of choice for many Moroccans unable to afford the train or long-distance taxis, but the vehicles are often poorly maintained and driven at breakneck speeds.
On Sunday, eight French nationals and four Moroccans were killed when a tourist coach was involved in a head-on collision with an articulated truck.
Tourism bodies have called for action to improve Morocco’s dismal road safety record, worried that it will put off visitors to the kingdom and hamper efforts to boost tourism, a crucial source of foreign currency.
The authorities recently instructed traffic police to confiscate the licences of drivers who commit offences such as speeding, jumping a red light or failing to stop at junctions and then do not pay their fine.