Traffic accidents have plagued Pakistan for a long time now, with a astounding number of people getting severely injured eveeryday, while thousands have lost their lives in the past decade or so.
Most of such life-threatening accidents are attributed to careless driving, usage of mobile phones while driving or not using proper safety gear like a seatbelt on a car or wearing helmets for motorcycles.
According to a report for 2015-16, 9,100 road traffic accidents (RTA) took place in the country, killing 4,448 people, most of which were not even 30 years of age.
Out of these 9,100 accidents, 4,287 occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa taking the lives of 1,299 individuals, which clearly makes KP one of the least safe places in terms of the road safety.
However, the recent initiatives by KP Police to cut down the number of traffic violations and horrible accidents, by following the footsteps of European road safety rules, are highly commendable.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, 2.69% people in Pakistan lost the battle of life in road accidents in 2014.
Below are the findings from a survey conducted by a local automotive portal.
- 24,050 people participated in the survey, out of which 54% were from Punjab while 27%, 12%, 6%, 1%, 0.1% hailed from Sindh, Islamabad, KP, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan respectively.
- 62% of motorcycle riders owned a driving license, while 29% were driving illegally without obtaining driving licence or permit, 3% said they had lost the license in one way or the other while the remaining 6% riders’ licenses had expired. 64% of the individuals who did not possess a driving license were under 21 years age.
- Car users’ license holding ratio was significantly better, with 80% people possessing a license. 13% didn’t have a license, 7% had misplaced their licenses while the remaining 5% were awaiting renewal of their licenses. 57% of those who didn’t own a driver’s license were younger than 21.
Keeping in mind the above numbers, we can say that the mentality of Pakistanis is changing in terms of safety and owning driver license, however, the numbers need to rise very quickly if we are to make our roads safe.
The government needs to take healthy initiatives to spread awareness among the nation.