Deadly Road Accidents
A terrible tragedy took place on Sunday in Balochistan’s Zhon area. At least 19 people were killed while 11 others were injured after a passenger bus plunged into a ravine in the district.
Deadly road accidents are becoming more common due to poor road infrastructure, disregard for traffic laws, as well as poorly maintained vehicles. It must be remembered that this was an accident-prone area that officials were aware of and the attempts to cover the risk areas were not successful. Clearly the protective wall installed at a bend in the road, was of no help in this case.
These occurrences are not just a natural by-product of the terrain and bends in the roads—they are the side effects of mismanagement and failure to keep in place road safety measures. Last month, 22 people were killed, including nine members of a family, when a passenger van fell into a ravine near Qila Saifullah district of northern Balochistan. The higher rate of incidents should be a cause for more governance and regulation, not a justification. If a road bend is reported to be more accident-prone, that should be an incentive for more stringent implementation of road safety procedures. There are strict rules on overtaking and speed limits and the abundance of accidents clearly indicates that these rules are not being implemented strictly enough.
Most of the accidents have been caused by an over speeding bus. Rash drives and over-speeding vehicles do not only threaten their own lives and that of their passengers but the safety of everyone on the road, as well as police officers.
Accountability measures against rash drivers must be taken through direct means, like regulation of speed limits and overtaking, and indirect measures, like ensuring all drivers of passenger buses have a valid unexpired license. Harsher license conditions for drivers of larger vehicles can also be a prospective policy to make the roads safer. These issues must be addressed with more than just condolences and statements of regret.