The recent bus accident near Kallar Kahar has once again highlighted the critical issue of road safety in the country. The filing of a criminal complaint against the bus driver, owner and others involved in the incident reflects the urgent need for immediate attention to prevent such tragedies. It is disheartening to witness a continuous rise in the number of such accidents, indicating the government’s utter failure to address the underlying issues adequately.
The details of the accident, as mentioned in the FIR, reveal a series of negligent actions that resulted in the loss of lives. This highlights a blatant disregard for passenger safety and a lack of responsibility on the part of those entrusted with ensuring the well-being of passengers. The fact that the bus was allowed to operate in an unfit condition raises serious questions about the efficacy of safety regulations and inspections within the transportation industry. While a criminal complaint has been filed, this incident should prompt a broader reflection on road safety measures in Pakistan. The government must take immediate steps to prioritise road safety initiatives, invest in infrastructure improvements and strengthen the enforcement of traffic regulations. Strict and regular vehicle inspections should be implemented to ensure that only well-maintained vehicles are allowed on the roads, while heavy-duty vehicles restricted to specific hours of the day. Furthermore, public awareness campaigns are essential to cultivate a culture of safety among drivers and passengers. Emphasising the importance of following traffic rules, using seatbelts and promptly reporting any vehicle faults can contribute overall to responsible behaviour.
In order to prevent further loss of innocent lives, immediate action is required by the government and provincial transport departments that have remained aloof from the situation altogether. It is not enough to give condolences on the matter. Only through concrete efforts can we create a safer transportation environment for all.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2023.