Traffic in Karachi – File Photo

KARACHI, July 7: The city has witnessed nearly 500 deaths in road traffic accidents during the first half of this year, as officials and experts see an increasing number of vehicles, violation of traffic rules and lack of road sense mostly among pedestrians and motorcyclists as a major source of the deadly incidents, it emerged on Saturday.

Figures compiled by the institutions concerned indicate that road accidents continue to pose a serious threat to the lives of motorcyclists and pedestrians.

The latest figures compiled by the Road Traffic Injury Research and Prevention Centre (RTIRPC), situated at the Jinnah Postgraduate and Medical Centre, suggest that hundreds of road accident cases were reported at different hospitals in the city from January to June 2012.

“A total of 475 deaths in road traffic accidents have been reported over these six months,” said a source privy to the data compiled by the centre.

“But officials are still gathering data, and the final number is feared to be greater. In these 475 cases, the victims were brought dead to the hospitals.

“Past trends show that many of accident victims under treatment at private and public hospitals also die,” added the source.

Bike riders, pedestrians

The number of people who suffered serious injuries was higher than those who died, he said, adding that most accidents victims were found to be motorcyclists and pedestrians who were hit by other vehicles.

Traffic officials said rebuilding of major roads and extensive development in the city had yet to address problems faced by pedestrians. Haste and ignorance of traffic rules among both pedestrians and drivers often lead to road accidents which can be avoided only through collective efforts, according to them.

The officials admitted that lack of serious effort from traffic policemen to check traffic rules violations was one of the reasons for the accidents, but said that waning moral values in society and lack of respect for laws had made it difficult to prevent traffic rules violations.

“And ultimately they (people) suffer,” said DIG licensing of the city traffic police Dr Mohammad Maalik. “I don’t see any other reason for deadly accidents except reckless driving by motorcyclists and lack of [driving] sense or you can say lack of respect for law among both motorists and pedestrians.”

He agreed that the traffic officials deployed on roads to keep a check on such violations were often found ignorant of their job which also encouraged motorists and mostly riders to challenge the writ.

An RTIRPC report released a couple of months ago showed an overall five per cent drop in fatal accidents in 2011 as compared to the previous year. Road accidents claimed 1,161 lives in 2011, it stated.

The findings of a road safety study, however, showed a 10 per cent increase in fatal accidents of young people, aged between 16 and 25 years.

Of around 4,000 persons below 16 years and nearly 12,000 people between 16 and 25 years who suffered injuries in road crashes in the city, 300 died last year.

“Riders and pedestrians have always been found vulnerable in accidents,” said RTIRPC project manager Ameer Hussain.

“It’s unfortunate and at the same time surprising that the city with hundreds of thousands of bikes doesn’t have a single motorbike driving institute. Besides, there is a dire need to regulate licensing system and provide safe places to youths so that they can practise and test their skills,” he said.

Updated Jul 08, 2012 03:24am

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Comments (9) (Closed)


Noorani
Jul 08, 2012 09:51am
Is there any traffic law/s in Karachi? What v see on daily basis can only be called jungle law where might is right. It is said, the character of a nation is judged by the way its people behave on the road. Any lesson for Karachiites. Traffic controllers ( the police) we see on Karachi roads, do they really know any traffic rules, do they have any kind of formal training before they are posted at thier points each morning. The chaos tells a very different story.
Khalid
Jul 08, 2012 11:31pm
Everyone on the road has to be blamed but unfortunately we have a very corrupt police and one can get by a traffic ticket by giving a small number of cash. And ofcourse police can not dare to stop big latest model cars. The whole country needs overhauling. Every home, every department, every single person.
Usman
Jul 08, 2012 08:58am
Most of the motorbikes do not have mirrors which I think put the bikers in real danger when maneuvering.
Faisal
Jul 08, 2012 11:05am
Someone says and I quote here for this report, If you want to see how much discipline any nation has, watch their ROAD TRAFIC.
waheed
Jul 09, 2012 06:20am
Motor bike riders are main cause of road accidents every day. In all civilized countries, motor bike riders are not allowed to drive on main roads, only they use service roads or if not service roads available then partition is made for bikes only for their safety. Karachi roads are wider than London roads , have service roads but no one bothers to drive on service roads. carts, auto ricksha, cycles, bikes etc. all by law must be directed to use service roads not main roads. Just look at shahrae Faisal and you will find motor bike riders to drive bikes ruthlessly, most irresponsible way and zig zag style. More than 80% road accidents happen because of bike riders. Govt should prohibit bike riders to drive on main roads. Another most important factor is Sindh Traffic Police, which is most incompetent. Just interested to get 20-50Rupee from bike riders instead of regularizing road safety.
KhanChangezKhan
Jul 09, 2012 06:55am
Heavy traffic, narrow and damaged roads are the main cause of accidents. The so called nation's representatives are fully responsible for the cause. They are collecting money in the name of different development of their regions, areas and localities but 80% or more they are keeping deposit in their personal account and no one brings them for accountability. The general people knows them very well such kind of people representatives and they hatch them but in a new election these so called people representatives again become the winner not by the wish of people but with the fraudulent of their political and their allied parties.
KhanChangezKhan
Jul 09, 2012 07:10am
After the independence of Pakistan what was the ratio of population and roads in Karachi and presently what are their percentages. Just an example, University Road is the most important and having heavy traffic on both ways. What is the condition of this road and how wider is it from Old Subzi Mnadi to Malir Cant. The roads in Defense Society are very neat & clean and very wide where traffic flow is less than a quarter of University Road because of the High Society's and politicians are living there. From Nipa Chowrangi to Malir Cant’s both sides roads are very narrow whereas in between falls Karachi University, NED and some other institutions. There are wide spaces besides the both ways, occupied by some nursery /plants sellers but no one taking for it because these plants sellers are paying improper money to the authorities on a regular and fixed basis. Most of the University and other institutions' students are poor and used to go and come back home by Motorbike whereas the heavy traffic transporters and drivers running their vehicles frequently very fast violating the traffic rules and regulations which falls valued lives of the students as well as the general people.
KhanChangezKhan
Jul 09, 2012 07:25am
Please do not compare London with Karachi. Are the people's representatives of Karachi as well as Pakistan are taking responsibilities likewise the London or GB? Is there accountability process in Pakistan similar to Britain? How many services roads have you seen side by side of the Roads Highways? Have you seen any service road besides the Shahrah-e-Faisal, University Road, MA Jinnah Road, and From Bunder Road to Sohrab Goath and other important roads where there are heavy traffic? How these poor people will survive and reach to their destinations of jobs when public and private transports are rare and expensive. Motorbike is the cheapest and fastest transportation for the middle and poor people. Please advise a soft solution for them instead blaming. Blame them who are fully responsible for the negligence in planning.
Rameez
Jul 10, 2012 06:31am
A nation That cannot stand at a Traffic Signal, I wonder can this nation can ever stand on its feet?