The teachings of Islam involve guidance and regulations leads to the beautification of characters and personalities in all walks of life. It also inculcates the atmosphere of love, affirmation and cooperation.
Islamic ethics outlines clear ethics of road usage that need to be upheld for all mankind. This is due to the fact that the public, in particular, road users have the rights to utilize the road and highways.
The scenario of road accidents nowadays has reached an alarming level of high rates of fatalities and loss of lives. This situation haunts every road user. Among notified causes are the attitudes and actions of the drivers, such as reckless driving, impatience as well as self-centeredness along with disobedience to the road and traffic regulations.
This negligence ultimately brings misery to the mass as affects innocent lives and their families. This study suggests solutions for road users to apply the ethics of road usage as introduced by Islam.
Road safety is a major public health issue in Pakistan. It is estimated that every five minutes someone is killed or badly injured in a road traffic crash in Pakistan. There is enormous human suffering, the economic cost is estimated to be 3-5 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP. [roadsafety.pk, Nov2018]
The Pakistan National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 builds on the foundation of the first National Road Safety Plan for Motorways and National Highways 2017-2018. It broadens the scope to address all road networks and all road user groups in Pakistan. It sets out a long-term road safety vision for Pakistan and practical, evidence-based actions to improve safety on national, provincial, and local roads.
The vision of the National Road Safety Strategy 2018-2030 is the initiative of the Government of Pakistan to save more than 6,000 lives. That otherwise will be lost in road crashes. It will also help Pakistan to meet its commitment to regional and global road safety targets.
Achieving this target will be challenging as Pakistan’s economy grows, vehicle numbers are projected to increase by about four times, passenger and carriage transport to increase five times. The population is projected to increase by up to 30 Million people by 2030. [roadsafety.pk, Nov2018]
This Strategy and the series of road safety action plans which will be developed to implement it addresses all roads and all road users. As the vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, pedestrians, drivers and passengers in three-wheeled vehicles, and children. It is expected that a Model Road Safety Law will be completed early in 2020.
The vehicle safety should be insured under all circumstance regardless of the time and place an individual is driving for instance seat belts should be used at all times, speed meters to be used in the car accurately and be monitored religiously as per the road speed limit.
Stimulating the community
Ethics Rules of the Road defines ethics as knowing right from wrong. following the policies, and remaining legally compliant needs to instilled and implemented in the society. Awareness needs to be raised on a community level to make everyone understand that they need to actively be part of these actions. As it is said: “Charity begins at home”. One needs to be a self-starter to motivate others.
Fatigue is one of the big killers. Fatigue-related crashes can happen on any trip no matter how long or short or what time of day. You should ensure that before getting on the road they are alert and active. If there is any fatigue or stress, hiring a taxi would be a safer option than driving themselves and endangering your own and others life.
When you’re driving, you can only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call if the phone is securely mounted to the vehicle. It is against the law to touch the phone (except to pass it to passenger) while driving. As using the phone while driving for text message or watt Sapp leads to deviation of attention from the road. Which leads to accidents, injury or even loss of life. Ethically, legally and morally one should avoid using the phone at all and should switch their phone to driving/do not disturb mode.
Pedestrians can be difficult to see when you’re driving, and their behaviour can be unpredictable. This can make it challenging for other road users to successfully factor pedestrian safety into the decisions they constantly make as drivers and riders. So the people walking on the roads should ensure that they cross the roads only at the zebra crossing and the drivers should consciously stop at the zebra crossing and let the pedestrians cross the streets safely.
Schools and School Zones
Road safety around schools is a major concern for parents and school management. It should be incorporated in the road safety measures that school zones and roads nearby to it should have speed limit no more than 20KM per Hour.
One of the most important and legally advised road safety measures is to get your vehicle insured. By law the third party liability insurance is mandatory plus it also secures your risks every time you are driving on the road. Car insurance allows driving to your destination tension and hassle-free.
Ethical aspects of road traffic have not received the philosophical attention they deserve. The measures used to combat deaths in traffic as well as the role of road traffic should be ethically scrutinized and should be given the due importance and consideration, as the impact it has on everyone’s life is magnanimous.
These ethics and safety methods should be instilled in drivers of all ages. so when they get their vehicles on road they understand and comprehend that roads are for everybody to use. While doing that it should be remembered that the other individual is not affected/injured due to their conduct.
Achieving these targets will require significant effort to enhance the safety standard of roads. The strengthening of regulation and demand for safer vehicles, to improve driver, passenger and pedestrian compliance with road traffic laws and to create a safety culture.
Road safety is a shared societal responsibility. We all must do more to protect our communities from death and grievous injury.