The Urban Impact: The Security Apparatus & Public Safety
The Biggest Threat to Public Safety? Not ISIS, traffic.
What seems to take up most of Irbid police’s time is managing the gridlocked traffic, especially at rush hour, when battalions of police are needed to wave on passenger cars, order trucks loaded with vegetables to keep moving, and help pedestrians cross the congested roadways.
Parents regularly talk about how their biggest fear is that their children will be hit by traffic: Syrian parents tell kids to stay out of the streets, but with an absence of public parks, the roads are often the best soccer fields. Western migrants quickly learn their biggest risk comes not from terrorism, but from being in a car accident (A regular reminder of the Overseas Security Advisory Committee, OSAC). Jordanians widely believe the increase in traffic and the risk of pedestrian collisions is a product of Syrians’ arrival in Irbid, however frequent pedestrian collisions were common long before 2012 (Based Al Athamneh & Al Momani, 2016).