Pakistan roads today are more dangerous than ever before. Even everyday there are many fatal accidents. Many more people die on Pakistan roads than on those of any other country. Travel by road has become Karakoram Highway. It is equally dangerous on highway, in plains, valleys, hills, town and cities. The number of vehicles and commuters is increasing so fast that the existing network of road and their poor standard can hardly cope with it. Shortage of road-space and indiscipline driving has further complicated the matter. There is no lane and traffic sense and there is chaos and disorder.
The roads are in very poor shape. They are not maintained properly. In rainy season their condition is the worst. There is no proper drainage system and roads are full of pools of water here and there. Because of the use of poor quality material in the construction of roads, there is quick erosion of the road surface. The roads are full of pot-holes and rough patches and often slush with mud during rains. There are no bridges and culverts over nallahs, rivers and streams. As a result of these factors road accidents continue to rise and more and more people die on these roads.
Bad roads cause a lot of damage to the engines of the vehicles. It results in poor mechanical condition of the vehicles. The owners do not pay proper attention to the maintenance of motor vehicles. And so there are often mechanical failures and accidents. The number of hit and run cases is also rising, particularly in cities. In Muzafferabad alone many persons died in road accidents in everyday. About 25 per cent of these accidents were caused by negligence of the drivers.
There are more vehicles on the roads of Muzafferabad than the total number of vehicles of Swat, Quetta and Baluchistan put together. More people die on those roads every day. It is because there is no effective mass rapid public transport system. Two or three persons die every hour in road accident in Pakistan. A majority of these accidents and deaths can be prevented if roads are improved; rules and regulations strictly enforced, information and communication facilities upgraded and facilities in Hospitals are improved to the modern international standards. What are needed are strong political will and a coordinated effort between the administration, public and the drivers.
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Written By: Aafia Hira