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Editorial: Reckless disregard

Hopes and dreams of nearly 90 people were shattered when they could not make it to their destination because of two separate traffic accidents due to the recklessly driving and inattention of the government. Fourteen commuters died in Gulistan district of Farah province in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck.

According to officials, the mishap is the result of over-speed. It is true that many drivers do not follow speed limits and take their lives for granted. They do not pay heed to the requests of passengers who want to reach their destination safe and sound. As many as 45 passengers were injured in the Farah road accident. If the bus driver had observed the traffic rules, the passengers would have reached their destination without sustaining any injury.

In another road mishap, 16 people died and 13 others wounded in Guzara district of Herat province. Statistics reveal that road travelling in Afghanistan is dodging death at every turn. Road travelling has become too dangerous. Who should be blamed? Shall the commuters blame the government for disheartening performance or arrogant, illiterate and insane drivers? Where the families of victims should go to seek justice? How many more Afghans would lose their lives in the traffic accidents that the relevant authorities and drivers can prevent? Inattention of the concerned departments will continue to claim more lives. There is no doubt in it.

For long, the government has blamed the reckless drivers in order to run away from responsibilities. At the same time, the drivers continue to blame the government bodies for depilated roads, lack of traffic signs and absence of traffic wardens at critical points.

Lack of emergency healthcare facilities along with the national highways is another serious issue. The blame-game will not help the commuters. In order to make road travelling safe, the relevant authorities had to implement traffic laws in letter and spirit. Those who violate the traffic rules should be punished. Licenses of the drivers who violate laws more than twice should be cancelled. Besides that, the concerned department should install traffic signs as well as concave and convex safety mirrors in order to reduce accidents.

Similarly, the drivers also have a part to play. They cannot blame the “poor condition” of roads because when roads are bumpy or in depilated condition, a driver does not drive his vehicle fast due to fear of breakdown. Many drivers are driving vehicles that have technical issues. They do not maintain their vehicles properly. Moreover, the drivers want to outshine others by reaching first. They do not pay heed to the traffic signs and rules.

Passengers also have a role to play. They should stop drivers from violating the traffic rules.

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