KARACHI: During a seminar on road safety measures at Karachi University (KU) on Thursday, the dean of civil and petroleum engineering faculty at NED University, Dr Mir Shabbar Ali, said that there were three major factors behind road accidents. He said that 67% of the accidents could be attributed to human errors, 28% to poor infrastructure and deteriorating condition of roads and 5% to unfit vehicles.
Dr Ali said that there was a dire need to improve road infrastructure. He added that if one considers all relevant components while constructing roads, the number of accidents would reduce.
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Traffic Police DIG Javed Ali Mahar stressed that the research being conducted at the varsity be utilised to provide relief to people. "Good research is meant to be useful for society rather than keeping them in libraries in book form," he said.
He said that engineers should adopt designs that meet the road safety requirement and help reduce traffic accidents. Mahar asked the students to follow traffic rules and regulations and encourage others to do the same.
National Highway and Motorway Police's Senior Patrol Officer Umer Tafazzul said that ignorance of traffic rules was another major cause of road accidents. "If the citizens follow traffic rules then we can protect a number of human lives," he said. Tafazzul added that every person should accommodate ambulances and fire tenders and allow these emergency vehicles to reach their destinations on time.
KU Geography Department Assistant Professor Dr Salman Zubair, who is also the road safety ambassador for universities, said, "In recent years, Karachi alone has suffered financial losses of Rs47.8 billion in road accidents".
He said that if the number of road accidents did not decline then it could become the third major cause of death. He said that teenagers were more than five times at risk to get into accidents than drivers aged 30 and above and added that in Karachi, average fatality age due to road accidents is 29 years.
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Dr Salman Zubair mentioned that Pakistan ranked first in Asia and 48th in the world for most deaths caused by traffic accidents. Referring to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 Report, he said that nearly 1.2 million people die each year and 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries due to road crashes.
Earlier, am awareness walk was arranged from the Silver Jubilee Gate to the Arts Auditorium in which the participants held road safety messages to educate students.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2019.