KARACHI: Roads being constructed in the city will now be vetted by experts, who will ensure that the necessary safety measures included in the design so that accidents can be prevented.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) announced that it has set up the Road Safety Audit Task Force to help curb traffic accidents, which have substantially increased over the years. The administrator of KMC, Muhammad Hussain Syed, has given his approval for establishment of the task force, which will be part of the transport and communication department. It will check the geometric design of the roads and come up with solutions in case a problem is found. The senior director of transport and communication, Muhammad Athar, has been asked to identify spots which are notorious for high incidence of traffic accidents. “We will even ask the public to point out the spots where they feel that accidents occur regularly,” said a road safety consultant of the KMC, Sattar Javaid.
The haphazard manner in which the roads of Karachi are built often result in accidents. However, a detailed engineering survey to identify the problems has yet to be conducted. Javaid said that accidents often happen because of small problems. “There could be issue of visibility, an improper turning or just a slippery patch.”
The administrator has also made it mandatory for feasibility reports on the construction of roads to get approved by the transport department.
According to the Road Traffic Injury Research and Prevention Centre, more than 1,100 people were killed and thousands were injured last year. In the report, Korangi Town, and especially the Korangi Industrial Area, topped the list of deadliest places for drivers.
The unruly movement of freight trucks, pot-holes and absence of street lights have led to fatalities. The greatest increase in injuries took place on Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman Road in Clifton and Shahrah-e-Orangi. However, it is unclear why the number of accidents on these roads has escalated.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.