Poor traffic management resulting in road accidents


–CTP official says they’ve written nearly 300 letters to other departments but haven’t received any response

LAHORE: Lack of coordination between various government departments responsible for ensuring road safety in Punjab has led to an increase in traffic accidents and subsequent deaths.

According to a senior officer in City Traffic Police, nearly 300 letters were written by the department to the heads of various government departments for ensuring proper coordination to improve traffic control but none of them responded.

“Despite our best to improve traffic control, we are the first to be blamed for traffic mess,” the official said.

It is worth mentioning here that in a city as big as Lahore, gridlocks and road accidents are primarily due to ill-planned roads and faulty traffic control mechanism. 264 people had died in various cities of Punjab in 27,000 road-related accidents in September alone, said Rescue 1122 Director General (DG) Rizwan Naseer.

On Wednesday morning, 23-year-old Farooq Masih and 18-year-old Akash were crushed by a speeding truck on Multan Road while Tariq Masih, who was also with them, was severely injured. Meanwhile, another speeding bus crushed 60-year-old Muhammad Munir near Lorry Adda. When his son went to the hospital to retrieve his body, he lamented the lack of check and balance on roads. “I have lost my father but nobody cares,” he cried.

DG Naseer said that around 50 per cent traffic accidents can be prevented by adopting basic safety measures, including wearing a helmet and driving within the speed limit.

CTP officials said that there are 7,500,000 motorcycles in Lahore and 700,000 rickshaws and most of them do not adhere to traffic rules. They also said that the department has identified lack of parking spaces as a common factor in the accidents taking place in different areas. “When people do not have access to parking spaces, they tend to park their vehicles recklessly, disturbing the flow of traffic, which leads to road accidents,” they said.

When this issue was brought up with Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Spokesperson Sohail Janjua, he said that parking spaces cannot be built because there are buildings on Mall Road which do not come under their operational control and buildings on Ferozpur Road were created before they were given control of the area in 2012-13. “However, we are trying our best to control the situation,” he said.

CTP Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rana Arif said that while the department is trying to control and manage the city’s traffic, the ultimate responsibility comes down to the people who show negligence on roads.

Moreover, he said, the population of the city is increasing every day and there are only 2,400 wardens to control millions. “There are 262 traffic signals in the city where wardens are deployed. We can resolve a lot of issues if other departments coordinate with us,” he added.