Lahore: The Director General, Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) Dr. Rizwan Naseer said that on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we need to make a commitment to reduce this major cause of death amongst young bread winners of our society, which is leading to a huge socio-economic burden on the economy of Pakistan.
During a press briefing at Emergency Services Academy, the Director General said according to World Health Organization, 1.3 million people die each year and over 50 million get disabled due to road traffic accidents and 90% of these deaths occur in low income and middle income countries like Pakistan where only 48% of the world’s registered vehicles exists.
In Pakistan, Rescue 1122 alone has rescued over 5.8 million road traffic accidents victims in past years. “If something tangible is not done on priority basis within next few years, every family would have been affected by road traffic accidents,” he said, adding that it has been observed that the total number of deaths and disability due to bomb blast in Pakistan equals the death and the disability within a few months in Pakistan. He said that Rescue 1122 in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board is launching Trauma Registry Program to collect information road traffic crashes on scientific basis in Punjab in upcoming December.
He further emphasized that thinking needs to be changed through media that an accident is not just a will of God, but mostly takes place due to negligence of the driver or a fault in the vehicle or the road or a road user. The Director General further said that during discussions with the stakeholders and review of laws, an interesting observation has been found that although there is the Motor Vehicle Ordinance for motorized vehicles but there is no effective legislation to cover other road users like slow moving carts and pedestrians. “We also need to train every person how to use the road and also start a driver licensing program before issuing a license to any driver in all provinces,” he stated.
Dr. Rizwan Naseer said that the alarming increase in the number of avoidable emergencies particularly road traffic accidents has necessitated Rescue 1122 to launch the Community Safety Program where all the stake holders need to work together for prevention of such emergencies to build a safer Pakistan.