Road safety in Pakistan

Farhan Jumani

Pakistan’s major cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad etc. are totally different from what they used to be 10 years ago. Every month hundreds of thousands of new vehicles are added to already congestive roads.  When one leaves his/her home to visit outside, one is not sure whether one would return back safe and secured. We live in an age of uncertainty; our life is not safe because of heavy traffic all day.  Road accidents have become frequent and many are taking these accidents very easy and routine matters. But one can safely say that every one of us has an experience of traffic accident on city roads.

It become necessary that people who drive the vehicles and also pedestrians need to know more about the traffic rules and system.   Many school going children, teenagers and youth are maimed or killed due to road accidents. According to the city’s Road Traffic Injury Research and Prevention Centre records. Over 16,821 people are injured and killed in the first half of the year 2012.  Teaching children a road safety in a young age in schools can help cut down these road tragedies.

The Schools can play a vital role in creating awareness about the road safety. They may adopt road safety education as a part of their curriculum. In fact teaching road safety messages to kids will go to adults also when they interact with the kids.

Road Safety Stop SignChildren in schools should be provided the practical training in a realistic road environment. The schools soft boards should be designed with kids to educate the rules and regulations of road safety. The role-play activities should also be designed in the school morning assembly in order to memorize the rules of road safety. It is essential that children should learn formal road safety education in an educational environment.

It is a dire time for schools to create guidelines for making children journey safer. It is a shared responsibility between school management, teachers, parents, and concerned authorities to enhance purposeful education to eliminate the death or injury to children and others on roads.

By provoking thoughtful questions such as where they should walk on streets. How they should cross the roads, show them zebra crossing, they should look both the sides while crossing roads, how they should stop vehicles. If traffic is coming, let them pass first. In fact, when parents or caretakers take them into automobile ask them to wear sit belts, talk about different vehicles and their speeds, teach them they get in and out from car from safe side, and teach them do not be noisy  or don’t throw anything which distracts the driver’s concentration. Help children build their road skills in order to be a safe road user.

Active involvement of parents in developing child’s road safety skills is very important. This safety preparedness programs are effective when parents are also involved. Creating a parental role with road safety education is useful to the student’s internalization of the information. In fact, they can become role models for road safety by implementing all these rules and precautions in their lives which is beneficial for them also and for community in order to control the traffic tragedies.

Schools should also make special arrangements for awareness of parents and kids. They should design the activities in which adults and younger’s involvement in making the real decisions help them to stay safer. They will easily act on their own decisions. Schools should develop partnerships with other agencies such as local authorities; the road safety teams the police, Rescue agencies like city wardens, Edhi etc. By seeking their views, the educational road safety pamphlets and campaigns should be designed which should highlights the strategies for reducing road tragedies and it should also encourage children to implement such safety laws in their lives.

This should be a continuous process and schools should award kids who practice to stay safer by rewarding safe behavior certificates to them. Encourage their attitude teach them when they feel unsafe ask adults to help. This will build their confidence further they will strengthen; use these skills in other situations, like meeting with friends or at home.

Concerned authorities should seriously reflect on this issue; they should design policies, plans and other resources in order to cater this core issue. In fact, they can create spaces in parks where children can learn this rules while playing. Moreover, they can create partnership with school agencies to deliver these safety messages. By making sure no extra vehicles are parked outside the schools buildings. The road safety signs are placed on the roads, speed limitation is defined on such streets they can help schools administration. All institutions have to make efforts together to reduce death and serious injuries in our city. By these efforts, more lives can be save further the possibility of exploring more interventions get enhance.

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  1. Truly Human life is very important we must create a better environment. This perspective of creating a safe road user is one of the intervention. I strongly believe the same school should play the role in it in fact they should cater other social issues. We should make space in our national curriculum for the same.

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