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Seminar on ‘safe roads, secure future’ at QAU

The image released on June 8, 2023 shows the building of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU). — Facebook/QAUIslamabadofficial/File

Islamabad:The losses incurred by road crashes account for about four percent of the GDP. These losses include mortality, morbidity of human lives and damage to infrastructure and equipment.

Prof Dr Muhammad Zaman, head of Zaman Research Centre (ZRC) and founding chairman of School of Sociology, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), made this disturbing revelation during a seminar titled ‘Safe Roads, Secure Future’. ZRC arranged this awareness seminar in collaboration with Islamabad Traffic Police, says a press release. Speaking on the occasion, SSP Sarfaraz Virk said that use of artificial intelligence and smart technology can make roads safer. He said that the traffic police is open to adopt the solutions ZRC is offering to road problems.

ZRC team members presented to the traffic police the APPs that they have indigenously developed to reduce the number of vehicles on Islamabad roads to make them safer. Prof Zaman said the rising number of vehicles is making the city look anything but smart. He presented a model that shows that the city needs 250 to 300 buses to fulfil transportation needs of its 2.5 million-strong population. The model that he and his team has developed ensures that a bus comes to every stop on all main roads with an interval of 10 minutes.

“To monitor public mobility, we have conducted digital monitoring. If you can take a bus conveniently, you will not prefer your car because it will be costly. By introducing taxes on car use inside the city the way developed countries have done, we will further discourage car users,” he said. “Our model,” he said, “will offer citizens better mass transit and bring down the number of vehicles on our roads. Therefore, roads will be safer and environment cleaner. In addition, it will save a lot of resources that are now spent on fuel and movability,” he said.

He said at present about 1,500 buses are plying on city roads and it is strange that the government is bringing on more buses, adding to already pestering problem. At the end, an ITP van also came to the university providing opportunity to students for issuance of new driver’s licenses, or renewal of expired ones. SSP Virk committed that the van will visit the university every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to facilitate students in getting licence.

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