The FINANCIAL — The 3rd National Steering Committee for the Development of Road Safety Plan for National Highways & Motorways of Pakistan met today at the National Highway Authority (NHA) office in Islamabad to deliberate on decisions to improve road safety on all roads across the country.
Hosted by the Ministry of Communication (MoC), the meeting approved the national consultation process for the ratification and implementation of the National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 and Action Plan 2018-2022, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, as well as the National Road Safety Awareness Campaign.
“As Pakistan is investing big to upgrade its transport and road infrastructure, matching efforts are required to catch up with other countries in boosting road safety standards,” said Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director for Pakistan. “Improving road safety not only means saving precious lives, but also ensuring sustainable and inclusive economic development through smooth and efficient connectivity between growth centers.”
To deliver more effective road safety management at all levels of government, MoC proposed the activation of the National Road Safety Council to coordinate delivery of the strategy and achieve the sustainable, system-wide changes required to improve road safety in the country, according to ADB.
“Estimates suggest there are at least 25,000 fatalities on Pakistan’s roads every month and that 39% of all reported incidents include fatalities. In Pakistan, in partnership with ADB, we are committed to improving the policy and regulatory environment governing the transport sector, including ensuring safety of the road networks. As well as saving lives, a reliable, safe, and efficient transport sector will also help the whole economy,” said Patricia Seex, Head of Economic Growth Group at DFID Pakistan.
The proposed strategy is based on a safe system approach and includes key focus areas of action to deliver safe roads, safe road users, safer vehicles, and improved post-crash care.
“Road safety is our common responsibility. This new strategy sets the overall long-term direction which can only be met, if the national government, local authorities, development partners, and civil society work together as one, under a coordinated approach,” said Pakistan’s Communications Secretary Furqan Bahadur Khan.
National Highway Authority Chairman Jawwad Rafique Malik, and other senior officials from federal and provincial government agencies, and representatives of transport industry and business leaders, academia, and civil society attended the meeting.
The Steering Committee is headed by MoC and includes the Planning Commission; National Health Regulation Services; Ministries of Finance, Interior, Industries and Production, Science and Technology; National Highways Authority; National Highways and Motorways Police and Provincial Transport; police departments; industry groups; academic institutions; and civil society.