The Divisional Commissioner of Rawalpindi has imposed a ban on the construction of educational institutes and hospitals on the city’s main roads to avoid traffic-related accidents. The decision of banning roadside construction was taken after a tragic incident on the Bahawalpur highway. Four children were struck by a truck while going back to their homes after school. The administration has issued strict instructions to improve the traffic system in all the districts of the province to minimise the chances of such incidents. It has been declared necessary for schools located on main roads to have their four road-cross assistants to help children cross the road. A collective awareness campaign on road safety will also be launched and lectures on the subject will be given in every school and college. A team consisting of traffic police, Rescue 1122, and highway officials will be formed to conduct a traffic audit.
Despite being avoidable, road traffic accidents are increasing every day. According to a report by WHO, there has been an 80% increase in accidents from 2000 to 2020. These accidents can lead to long term disability resulting in a rapid decline in socio-economic wellbeing.
Disabled people experience increased living costs which push poor families towards worse financial positions. Therefore, the decision to provide road safety education to the students will reduce road accidents to an extent as it is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. However, the Government should not only give education on road safety, but also take strict action against drug driving, speeding, non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts, and child restraints.