RAWALPINDI – Director General (DG), Emergency Services (Rescue 1122) Dr Rizwan Naseer has stressed the need for making efforts to reduce enhanced number of road accidents, which has reached an alarming proposition in Pakistan.

He said that on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we need to make a commitment to reduce this major cause of death. While, addressing under training cadets at Emergency Services Academy, he said that according to World Health Organization, 1.3 million people die each year and over 50 million get disabled due to road traffic accidents and 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries like Pakistan where only 48% of the world’s registered vehicles exists.

In Pakistan, only Rescue 1122 has rescued over 5.8 million road traffic accidents victims in past years.” If something tangible is not done on priority basis within next few years, every family would have been affected by road traffic accidents”, he said, adding that it has been observed that the total number of deaths and disability due to bomb blast in Pakistan equals the death and the disability due to road accidents within a few months in Pakistan.

He further emphasized that thinking needs to be changed through media that an accident is not just a will of God, but mostly takes place due to negligence of the driver or a fault in the vehicle or the road or a road user.

Director General further said that during discussions with the stakeholders and review of laws, an interesting observation has been found that although there is the Motor Vehicle Ordinance for motorized vehicles but there is no effective legislation to cover other road users like slow moving carts and pedestrians.

“We also need to train every person how to use the roads and also start a driver licensing program before issuing a license to any driver in all provinces”, he stated.

Dr Rizwan Naseer said that the alarming increase in the number of avoidable emergencies particularly road traffic accidents has necessitated Rescue 1122 to launch the Community Safety Program where all the stake holders need to work together for prevention of such emergencies to build a safer Pakistan.