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February 20, 2020

250 people die in road accidents in Karachi every year: Javed Ali Mahar


February 20, 2020

Around 250 people are killed in road traffic accidents in Karachi every year. This is because of the fact that a majority of the drivers in the megacity do not have a habit of following traffic rules and they are often found violating traffic laws in almost every street of the city.

The number of accidents could surely be reduced if citizens strictly follow traffic laws for which awareness campaigns should be carried out in the metropolitan city. This was stated by Karachi Traffic Police chief Javed Ali Mahar as he addressed an awareness seminar organised by the Karachi University on Wednesday.

Thoroughfares such as Sharea Faisal and Maripur Road have many pedestrian bridges but ironically passers-by, particularly women, even along with children, do not use those brides and crosses the roads despite heavy traffic movement which not only disturbed the traffic flow but also caused road accidents, he said.

“Both pedestrians and drivers do not have a good understanding and knowledge regarding the traffic rules and regulations due to a lack of awareness. We witness road traffic incidents regularly. The drivers and pedestrians must have road safety awareness to avoid mishaps on the streets,” he said.

The DIG noted that family members of the deceased and injured people suffered a lot. He urged both the drivers and the pedestrians to be attentive while they are on the roads.

He said the number of injuries and casualties due to traffic accidents could be reduced if citizens played their due role. “Ignorance and carelessness create problems for all of us,” he added.

“Instead of blaming each other or any institution, we must follow the traffic laws because we all are stakeholders and our joint efforts can bring about a positive change in society,” he said.

Mahar shared that the objective of his visit to the KU was to create road traffic awareness, especially among the students so that they could act more responsibly when driving or walking.

Another speaker, Professor Dr Afzal Ahmed of the NED University’s Department of Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, observed that motorcyclists could avoid head injuries up to 95 per cent if they wore helmets.

“We have conducted a survey and the research data reveals the fact that the majority of motorcycle riders, of whom students were the majority, did not wear helmets,” he said, adding that the students should act more sensibly and also encourage others to wear helmets while driving motorcycles.

He informed the audience that according to the data gathered in the recent past, around 65 per cent of motorcyclists were involved in road traffic accidents.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Salman Zubair, assistant professor of the Department of Geography, KU, who is also the road safety ambassador for the universities, expressed that unfortunately Pakistan was one of those countries where incidents of road traffic accidents were on the rise.

He mentioned that people mostly between 19 and 33 years were victims of road accidents. He said Karachi alone had suffered a financial loss of Rs518 billion in a year in road traffic accidents.

Earlier, an awareness walk was arranged from the Silver Jubilee Gate to the Arts Auditorium in the KU. The participants held placards inscribed with road safety messages.