In a tragic series of events, at least ten family members were killed and several others were injured, when two passenger coaches coming from opposite directions collided with a Suzuki van on Sunday morning on the Indus Highway near Sann.
While road accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in Pakistan, there has been noted an incredible risk associated with the Indus Highway. This is not the first time that this road has claimed lives. On November 9, a total of 27 people were killed and around 60 injured after a speeding bus fell off a bridge in Dhok Pathan area of Talagang. In October, many road accidents were reported in Sindh, killing at least 6 and injuring several more.
Drivers need to be made aware of this Bermuda triangle of sorts. The structure of the Highway is constructed as a single lane, with many sharp curves, which may be the reason behind the unusually high number of accidents it sees.
However, unlike the Bermuda triangle, the reasons behind the striking of tragedy are not mysterious. There have been complaints about lack of policing and implementation of safety laws around this area. The accident today occurred due to over-speeding, a phenomena that could and has been easily curtailed, as evidenced by strict laws implemented on the Motorway. Unregulated passenger bus services, lack of adequate traffic police on the highways and bad infrastructure all contribute to the rate of accidents; all problems which could be easily resolved with due diligence of law officers.
Even where some attention was paid to the phenomena of accidents on the road, it was not taken seriously by law enforcement. In November, due to locals complaints, and the mortality rate of the road, the Sindh High Court ordered the National Highway Authority, Motorway police, police of Jamshoro and Nawabshah districts and the Regional Transport Authority to stop movement of heavy transport vehicles on this part of the highway; however, the implantation of that order remains lax and carefree; in November, due to PPP’s meeting, heavy transport vehicles’ traffic from the National Highway from Nawabshah to Jamshoro through Hyderabad was diverted to the Indus Highway, in contradiction to the High Court order.
These accidents could be easily avoided by regulation and enforcement of the law. Perhaps the one good thing that could arise out of this tragedy is that this issue be brought to light; otherwise, we will continue to see more senseless loss of lives.