WHEN Sohni decided in the middle of a night to sail on a pitcher without checking its base, she actually compromised on some part of travel safety and in the end paid the price with two precious lives being lost.

Road safety is primarily meant about the protection and security of all those who travel on roads. It encapsulates all -- from pedestrians to animal-drawn vehicles and from two-wheelers to all types of multi-wheel transport. It is a double-sided and complementary exercise and will bear less fruit if it is minus anyone; that is to say, everybody will have to honour other’s rights to see his ones respected.

Road safety has many facets and pedestrian safety is one very imperative aspect of this subject. The importance of this can be judged from the fact that according to our national statistical data, out of total reported accidents, 42 per cent involve pedestrians one way or the other. Besides, here the share of children is much higher in comparison to those of adults.

This trend can be curtailed by creating awareness about pedestrian safety through workshops and seminars as well as educating children by incorporating basic road-safety lessons in their syllabus right from the outset; for example, the ‘Green cross code’ (stop, look, listen, think and cross) and the proper way to walk on one side of the road. Learning about traffic lights, road signs and other rules is another valuable addition which can contribute significantly in this regard.

At least 25 per cent of the total number of accidents involves motorcyclists riding without their helmets and youths showing off by performing stunts. The general public, parents and youth can be briefed about the dismal consequences of this with the help of illustrations or documentaries.

Now turning towards the last portion, it involves all types of vehicles which contribute towards 33 per cent of accidents. This segment of drivers can benefit by being told about the following road-safety tips:

(i) Cockpit drill and basic awareness about the vehicle in use. (ii) Defensive driving in different weather and road conditions. (iii) Proper use of lights and horn. (iv) Road sense. (v) Right of way. (vi) Advantages of wearing a seat belt. (vii) Proper use of mirrors. (viii) Dangers of over-speeding (ix) Maintaining a safe distance while driving. (x) Development and use of nerve control with quick reflex action in crisis situation to avoid any immediate danger.

The issue of road safety can be emphasized by creating awareness through telecasting documentaries on TV.

FAISAL FARAZ Member of Academic Faculty Motorway Police College Lahore

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