Highways are the biggest killer in Nicaragua

Highways are the biggest killer in Nicaragua.

Managua averaged nearly 50 traffic accidents per day in 2012

Highways are the biggest killer in Nicaragua

At least he wore his helmet: This motorcyclist, who sped by in the breakdown lane, is at risk of crashing into another car, driving off the ledge of the highway, or getting run over by his lawn mower. (photo/ Tim Rogers)
By Tim Rogers / Nicaragua Dispatch June 2, 2013

The National Police’s 2012 annual report, released last Wednesday night during a long, rain-drenched ceremony with President Daniel Ortega, lends new statistical credibility to Nicaragua’s claim to the title of “safest country in Central America.”

According to National Police Chief Aminta Granera, Nicaragua’s homicide rate last year dropped from 12 to 11 per 100,000 people, giving the country one of the lowest murder rates in the region, nearly on par with Costa Rica. While Nicaragua’s drug-riddled Caribbean coast has a disproportionally higher homicide rate than the rest of the country, Police Chief Granera noted that nearly one-third of Nicaragua’s 153 municipalities experienced no murders at all last year.

Police Chief Aminta Granera gives the 2012 annual report to President Daniel Ortega (photo/ Diana Ulloa/ Confidencial)

Furthermore, the top cop noted, Nicaragua experienced a 31% decrease in violent robberies in 2012, as police improved their capacity to respond to crimes with 269 new patrol cars. Police also started construction on 99 new police stations dedicated to providing integral protection and service to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Yet despite impressive advances in citizen security, Nicaragua suffered another head-on collision last year when it came to highway safety. According to official statistics, Nicaragua last year reported 11 fatal accidents for every 100,000 people. That means Nicaraguans have the same statistical probably of dying in a car accident as they do of getting murdered.

“It’s not possible that our homicide rate is the same as the rate of highway deaths; that can’t be, we have to reduce (the number of car accidents),” President Ortega said during his speech to the police, who lined up in the rain below his covered stage.

“The worst part about these accidents is that they could be and should be avoided,” the president said.

Click through to see a couple of comments that are interesting, they will give you an idea on what it is like to drive in Managua (short version: CRAZY!)