Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti
Pakistan is a thickly populated developing country facing several traffic issues in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh.
The traffic on roads consists of pedestrians, bikes, cars, trucks, buses and other conveyances.
Traffic education is a must for equipping children as well as elders sufficiently to become safe road users. The education is required for every age group to reassure safe traffic activities.
For educated road users, it can be easily done via video, Television and above all; social & electronic media. And for uneducated users, road safety instructions should be purposeful and simple.
Road safety programs should be organized at educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and Universities as well as at work places and public places.
The traffic education is very important for all of us to keep ourselves and others save from any accident and loss.
These days, traffic education is being taught in educational institutions in developed countries such as USA, Japan, China, Australia, and Netherland, right from the primary schools.
The traffic lessons are taught in primary and secondary schools in which children of age 5-15 years old are taught basic and important traffic rules and the sense of road signs.
In the same way, people in our country should be made aware of traffic regulations & rules such as traffic signs, no parking, use of speed breakers, parking, provisions of motor vehicles Act, tips for motorcyclists, accident prevention tips, traffic control and accident scene.
The main aim of road safety education is to avoid casualties as our people have no education and ethics regarding traffic.
Only formal education at school is not sufficient but we have to teach our children and elders necessarily to become safe road users.
The mental growth of people limits their abilities in traffic, but by motivating them to be a responsible citizen, this progress can be speeded up to some extent.
The growing traffic in the cities, as well as rural areas of the state, has emphasized the importance of road safety education for all of us including students.
Regarding this, several programs have been organized to make sure the active contribution of citizens and get an awareness of road safety.
Though, it is significant to make community, parents, management and all organizations of the civil society to take part the road safety among students.
The road safety seminars and programs organized by different authorities from time to time is meant to make people aware and teach them the rules that they should abide by when they are on the road irrespective of whether it is a driving vehicle or pedestrians.
In Pakistan, more than 70 % of the road users do not have even basic ethics while they are on road. Especially bike riders, rikshaw drivers, and chingchi rickshaw drivers do not even stop when the lights are red. On the other hand, car drivers sometimes drive carefully.
The situation is getting bad with every passing day as population is increasing and more people are moving to metropolitan cities for education, and job opportunities.
Moreover, our people are running out of patience which is too dangerous. While over speeding, drivers do not pay attention who is coming behind them. Another thing is negligence of road signs and bridges while crossing the roads.
The government is investing a lot to improve infrastructure. Still, the pedestrians do not use bridges while crossing the roads, causing trouble to whole traffic and risking their lives just to save 5 or 10 seconds.
This is the time for the government, and authorities to take strict actions against all the violators and fine them with a heavy amount. Also, if they refuse to cooperate, take their vehicles into strict custody.
To manage suffering traffic odds, Mr. Sohail Akhtar Sukhera (DIG Operations Punjab) has been given the duty to effectively handle all the tasks regarding traffic.
He is a well experienced man of extreme administration to run the department sufficiently.
Since last 4 to 5 months, he is organizing traffic concerns in professional manner. The officer has been given the charge of PPIO (Punjab Police Information Officer).
For the betterment of our society, he made a rule that an on-duty traffic officer is not allowed to stay in the same city for more than 6 months.
The officer is performing his duties in a superb manner and trying to create traffic awareness as much as possible.
Under his leadership, a distinct campaign has been launched against unsafe vehicles causing deaths and accidents.
In this regard, 108 cases were registered against overcapacity vehicles, 165 vehicles were seized and 114 drivers were sent to prison in different police stations.
The officers which come under him should follow his footsteps to improve the traffic situation in the province.
As a verdict, I want to mention that; as we have become the 5th most populated country in the world with population more than 220 million, it is the need of the hour that strict actions should be taken against all the traffic violators.
It is a request to honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan (Imran Khan) to add traffic education in syllabus to provide more awareness as there is no such books for our people.
People should be encouraged to drive after successfully passing the driving test. On the other hand, bike riders should be encouraged to wear safety gear (Helmet, safety jacket, etc.) while riding.
Also, e challan system should be made even more strict for those who cross the red signal. Safety signs should be displayed on all of the main roads.
Moreover, challans should be made much higher that a person thinks twice before committing such an action. It is the duty of all of us to respect traffic regulations and drive carefully. It is better to arrive late than never.
The writer is a Senior Social Analyst and Chairman (Pakistan Columnist Council) Can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org