PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Friday expressed concern about the high incidence of deaths and injuries in Peshawar and Abbottabad road accidents during Eid holidays and on Independence Day and directed the provincial police chief to ascertain their reasons and produce the probe report in three days.

He announced strict action against the traffic police’s officials found to be negligent of duties.

The reports said two youngsters were killed and more than 400 people, mostly youths, suffered injuries in Peshawar road accidents on Aug 13 and 14, while such accidents were reported in Abbottabad as well.

Most road accidents were caused by rash driving by underage bikers.

The doctors of Peshawar’s three government hospitals said the people, who were injured on road poured in on Eid and Independence Day.

They urged people to discourage underage driving by not allowing their children without valid licences to drive motorcycles saying this will ensure their and other road users’ safety.

“The chief minister has shown deep concern over the reports about the traffic accidents and news from hospitals regarding the injuries and deaths during Eidul Azha and August 14,” a statement said on Friday.

The statement said the chief minister was concerned about over the safety of the people and that he wanted to streamline affairs in future.

“Most of the (accident) victims happened to be teenage boys,” it said.

The statement said youngsters were seen do a wheelie on motorcycles without any effective check on them by the traffic police, so they created a mess by travelling in rickshaws and cars, which caused problems for residents.

It said the matter of fact was that the sufficient number of traffic police weren’t deployed to cope with the situation during festivities.

“Not only in the provincial capital, the situation in Abbottabad wasn’t also good as the traffic remained blocked for hours.

“Lack of effective traffic management caused undue hardships to the citizens of the city and tourists from different parts of the country,” it said.

The chief minister asked the provincial police chief to hold a fact-finding inquiry into the matter and find those officials, who were negligent of their duty within three days.

He also instructed the police to develop an effective enforcement plan for traffic management to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic on such occasions and avoid loss of precious lives.

The chief minister ordered the enforcement of the relevant laws regarding the road safety and said he would hold a high-level meeting in this respect to review situation within a week.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2019