With millions of rupees already spent on Islamabad Expressway on the overhead bridges for pedestrians, the irresponsible attitude of the masses was not only putting their own lives at stake but was also turning the huge investment on the bridges into waste.
Most of the residents living along the Islamabad Expressway, where the vehicles were driven at high speed, do not seem to have any interest in using the overhead bridges installed at various points to facilitate pedestrians.
Some avoid using the bridges due to laziness, while others try to save time.
A lot of accidents have already been reported on the expressway due to the negligence of pedestrians who try to rush across the road, creating panic among the motorists.
“It is really frustrating when pedestrians suddenly jump on the road where the vehicles travels at a fast pace, causing severe hindrance to the motorists,” Yasir Azim, a private car owner, who travels daily on the expressway, said.
He said he had personally witnessed a number of incidents where the pedestrians were either hit or the drivers, in a bid to save the pedestrians, faced severe accidents.
He said there was a need to educate the masses about the use of these bridges as millions of rupees had been spent on them by the government to facilitate them and safeguard their lives.
“I agree that most of the pedestrians prefer short-cut and avoid using overhead bridges, and hence face accidents”, an official of Islamabad Traffic Police told APP.
He said the police was doing their best to educate the masses by arranging different programmes, and by adding signboards on the highway to guide the road users in this regard.
“Several fatal and non-fatal road accidents had already occurred on the expressway due to the negligence of pedestrians,” he added.
He requested the pedestrians to use overhead bridges as they were erected for their own safety and for the smooth flow of traffic.
Islamabad Expressway was the busiest road of the twin cities where thousands of vehicles ply daily with bumper to bumper movement, especially during peak hours. The road was widened to ten lanes to ensure smooth flow of traffic and four over-head bridges were installed at different points to further ease traffic flow.
“The concerned authorities were criticised at the start for not constructing any overhead bridge on the expressway as the pedestrians were facing a lot of problems in crossing the road. But unfortunately, after installation of these bridges, they were not being used at all,” he said.
“A proposal was once considered to construct a six-foot high safety grill at the green belt between the two sides of the expressway to discourage pedestrians from crossing the road, but due to financial crunch, the project was postponed,” an official of Capital Development Authority (CDA) said.