Increasing Road Accidents in Pakistan

I was startled by the number of news items telling how many lives claimed due to road accidents today. Reading another news item about the ratio of road accidents in America; instigated me to calculate the damage Pakistan has to bear as a result of road accidents occur daily. While Copmparing Pakistan with US; Pakistan has inadequate road safety measures, dilapidated conditions of roads, untrained drivers, Big vehicles for small roads that are not compatible, traffic rules. Since Pakistan has a road transport system that is extensive and varied including Rikshaws, Taxi cabs, vans, Buses, trucks, animal carts, small and big cars and pedistrains are other than these vehicles. Further more a considerable investment has been witnessed in the transportation infrastructure in recent years.

Only today see how many accidents on National level that claimed several lives are recorded… Two persons have been killed including Divisional Superintendent of Pakistan Railways in traffic accident near Muzaffargarh. The accident took place on Sunday when the car of DS P Railways Manzoor Shaikh returning from Kot Addu to Multan after inspection, head on collided with a truck rushing from the opposite side. The truck driver fled from the spot. Divisional Transportation officer of Pakistan Railways Jamshed Alam and driver Muhammad Zaman were also in the car. Driver Muhammad Zaman died on the spot while Manzoor Shaikh and Jamsheed Alam were rushed to the near by district hospital where Manzoor Shaikh succumbed to injuries.

Eighteen persons including eleven women and four children were injured when a speeding truck rammed into a parked wagon on national highway near, police sources said. The accident took place when the driver of parked the vehicle at roadside to replace the tyre andIn the meantime, a rashly driven truck coming from backside hit the wagon. Nusrat Bibi, Shazia Bibi, Yasmin Bibi, Hina, Kishwar, Rasheeda, Iffat, Azizan Bibi, Uzma, Madeeha, Peshawar Bibi, Muhammad Adeel, Muhammad Sharif, Abdul Ghafoor and four minor children sustained injures. The victims of the mishap were shifted to THQ hospital for medical treatment.

Five persons were killed and nine others sustained injuries in two separate road incidents in Shangla district and Bishsam on Sunday. According to police report, first incident occurred at Chakasir when a passenger jeep, coming from Chakasir to village Khazan, plunged into deep ravine after the driver lost control over wheel-steering while negotiating a sharp turn at Banaray in the mountainous region. As result, Fazal Ghani son of Noor Khai, Liaqat Ali son of Pakai and Fazal Wahab son of Muhammad Jan died instantly while nine persons sustained wounds. The local people and police rushed to the site and shifted the victims to Saidu Sharif Hospital for treatment. The condition of two injured was stated to critical.

Another road incident, a car bearing registration No. PSP-15 with five persons on board fell into river Sindh when the driver lost control over steering at village Kamar. The ill-fated victims were coming from Bisham to Pattan Kohistan when met the fatal accident. As result, driver Abdus Salam and 11 year old boy who name could not be identified immediately were killed on the spot while three passengers were missing.

A speedy car killed two youths in Defence locality here on Sunday. The accident occurred in front of the Khayaban Bahria Complex in Defence. Both deceased were identified as Rasheed and Mohammad Akram and belonged to Rahimyar Khan (Punjab) living in Karachi for livelihood. Police have apprehended Saudi national Faisal for alleged involvement in the accident. The case has been registered at Gizri police station.

Despite of all recorded accidents, National highway Authority and Traffic Police claim that a considerable reduction in fatal and non-fatal road accidents has been witnessed during last few years due to the effective strategies while the case is opposite to it. I don’t disagree with Traffic police that they strive hard to ensure safe road environment but i disagree with the claim that number of road accidents have been reduced. Recognizing the strength of problem is half of the solution of problem. But officials are not ready to recognize the seriousness of the issue. If they need to address the issue they have to believe that ratio of the accidents have been increased manifold during last few years. Experience has shown that the number of accidents could be brought down, despite an increase in the vehicle population. But, it requires a scientific solution.

The reasons identified by analysts for these accidents are reckless driving, jam-packed vehicles, ill-trained drivers, lust for earning more money by overloading commuters, out-lived vehicles mostly owned by sets of elite class; flabbiness by those responsible to check the plying buses, coasters, vans and other public transport, wagons and even cars, non-implementation of traffic rules by the authorities concerned with multiple identical critical aspects like rampant corruption backed by the vile of pecuniary frustration are deemed to be the root causes of almost all the road accidents, which have, in a way, become a routine. And now the number of vehicles in Pakistan that has gone up phenomenally in last few years due to the mortgage finances offered by banks. According to the statistics, 87 percent of the road accidents occurred due to negligence of the drivers, over-speeding, overloading and wrong overtaking.

Though driving in pakistan itself is a stressful and frustrating job.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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