ISLAMABAD: Islamabad’s Excise and Taxation Department Programme Manager Waleed Ahmed said that one of the major causes of increasing road accidents in Pakistan is a huge number of old, unfit vehicles that are running on the roads.
While talking to Pakistan Today, he said that out of almost eight lac fifty thousand vehicles registered under this department, a total of five lac three thousand eight hundred and eight vehicles were registered before and up to 1990.
It means that more than half of the total registered vehicles are about thirty or more than thirty years old, hence causing road accidents, Ahmed added.
He said that there should be a proper law in place to remove all vehicles, which are more than ten years old, from roads in Pakistan as per the international norm.
Internationally banned old vehicles are being used here in Pakistan, he added.
However, various transport experts, while talking to Pakistan Today, were of the view that “human error mostly by unskilled drivers” is one of the most common causes of increasing road accidents in the country.
Poor maintenance of overused vehicles, lack of awareness among drivers has been indicated in recent accidents, they added.
During a visit to Faizabad and Mandi Mor, Pakistan Today observed that a huge number of vehicles lacked route permits or vehicles fitness permits issued from motor vehicle examiner (MVE) Rawalpindi, Islamabad.
The drivers complained about being charged over and above the required vehicles fitness fee by the motor vehicle examiners.
It is pertinent to mention here that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) report (published in 2013) road accidents will become the fifth major cause of deaths by 2030.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Pakistan Institutes of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Ashir said that road accidents cause long-term stress, leading to depression, anxiety and sleep problems for the injured ones.
The injured are sometimes permanently disabled, he further said.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of deaths among people with ages ranging from 15 to 30 in Pakistan. Islamabad-based motor vehicle examiner Inam Ullah Chughtai said that only a small number of accidents have been noted in the twin cities since the Islamabad roads are well-maintained.
He also said that the main cause of accidents is human error and not unfit vehicles.
When questioned about the alleged inadequate checking of vehicle fitness and overcharging practice by traffic police, Rawalpindi-based MVE Shoukat Abbasi, said that “It’s not so at all; we, on a regular basis, check vehicles for fitness and fine the drivers of unfit vehicles, accordingly”.