ISLAMABAD - Low road safety measures, obsolete vehicles, lack of medical facilities and high speed limits, fatal accidents on motorways have caused drastic increase in fatal accidents on motorways as last year 190 passengers lost their lives on the dual carriageways.

According to the Ministry of Communication’s data submitted in the National Assembly on Wednesday, total of 115 accidents occurred in 2014, out of which 40 were fatal while 75 were non-fatal.

In 2015, the data showed that 101 were fatal accidents while 344 were non-fatal. In 2016, 114 accidents were fatal while 261 were non-fatal. Total accidents increased from 115 in 2014 to 375 in 2016. According to the ministry, dozing was the major cause of accident in 2016 with 88 accidents. Tyre burst was another reason, the ministry held responsible for the fatal accidents.

Major cause identified in 2015 was carelessness of driver while driving and in order to control such accidents, enforcement has been increased in 2016 on Motorways, Ministry said in its written reply. To check reckless driving 283.648 tickets were issued while in 2016, 411.167 tickets were issued, it added.

The insiders, however, believe that most of the accidents could be prevented if Motorway authority acts vigilantly and perform its duty proactively.

Over the years, the speed limit has been increased to a limit which general cars and transport cannot stand, an official said.

The speed limit has been increased to 120 km per hour for light vehicles while the limit for trucks and heavy transport the limit is 110.

The maximum speed of 120 KM per hour may be less for an Audi or BMW or Mercedes but it is too much for Mehran or other similar local cars, which lack safety features, he added. He said generally people maintain their cars from roadside workshops which mostly compromise on quality and standard. These cars when run on motorways cannot bear the 120 speed limit and break down, he said. The official said the faulty cars may hit other cars causing them damage.

He pointed out that tyre markets in every big city sell imported or smuggled tyres. He said if tyres are stored under sunlight they deteriorate and when motorist buy those expired but good-looking tyres they don’t bear high speed and burst on motorways. The official also pointed out lack of medical facilities at the motorways.

Last year, Minister for Communication on September 7 admitted that due to lack of medical facilities at motorways and highways, condition of many people become critical after accidents.

In a written reply to the question of lawmaker Akhtar Shaikh whether it is a fact that condition of a number of people become critical when any accident occurs on the highways, the minister said the observation is correct. He said the observation cannot be denied. Appropriate emergency and first aid medical services available on highway and motorways are essential. He promised that the NHA will initiate the appropriate medical facilities on suitable locations but nothing has done so far. Insiders believe the real number of accidents is very higher than reported figures as NHA discourages minor accident reports.