Authorities fail to obligate UN SDGs regarding road safety


ISLAMABAD: Whether it was negligence committed by transporters or missing measures on the part of relevant authorities, the cases of road accidents have become alarmingly high in Pakistan.

According to a recently published report, road and traffic accidents claimed 28 per cent human lives.

According to WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety globally, road traffic crashes kill some 1.25 million people each year.

Data obtained from the report published by the WHO and ESCAP calculations show that road traffic crashes resulted in some 733,000 deaths on Asia-Pacific roads in 2013, which account for more than 58 per cent of the 1.25 million global road traffic deaths that year.

Thailand and Iran have significantly higher road traffic fatality rates than other countries in the region.

In addition to the tragic loss of lives, road crashes also result in substantial economic losses to countries and have devastating financial, social and emotional consequences for the victims and their families.

The issue of road safety has received global attention and has been placed on the global development agenda.

One of the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to halve road fatalities and injuries by 2020. However, current progress shows it is virtually impossible for the region to achieve this target.

The issue was further addressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as reflected in targets 3.6 and 11.2 of the SDGs. The aim of the target 3.6 is to halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 while the aim of target 11.2 is, by 2030, to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport system for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older person.

The road safety has also received attention from high-level policymakers in member states of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

In order to create road safety 74th session of ESCAP gave a special preference to the issue, a session was held in Bangkok from May 11-16. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, along with the chief economist, secretary planning and others visited to participate in this important session.

It is worth mentioning that despite the alarmingly high level of road accidents in the country these high ups only relay on foreign visits to earn their perks and privileges.