Worldwide rejected, removed cat’s eyes still twinkle on Pakistan’s roads

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By Naveel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD, Sep 2 (APP):Road studs, commonly known as ‘cat’s eyes’ first introduced by a British businessman Mr Shaw in 1935, served for decades but gradually invited a debate “Are they a problem or solution” and finally
the civilized world concluded to get rid of them for the safety of public lives and property.
The revolutionary changes in automobile industry, improved road infrastructure and strict adherence to the traffic rules across the globe forced the authorities concerned to look for some other options to tam accidents ratio after receiving great condemnation, besides facing legal proceedings in the courts of law.
Unfortunately in Pakistan the departments concerned still consider cat’s eyes essential to mark lanes and slow down the vehicles speed while using them as speed breakers,whereas for the purpose, proper education was required, besides making people strictly adhere to the relevant rules.
Talking to APP, a top official of National Highways And Motorway Police, Senior Superintendent Police, Jamil Hashmi, sharing the data on road accidents said around 15000 people lose their lives per-annum while some 1716 lives are lost to the subversive activities. He said the figures were alarming and required massive campaigns to educate people on road safety rules and guidelines.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) Director Roads and Maintenance Abdul Fateh said the authority was considering to remove heavy metals after a high official’s accident that made us reply in Parliament’s committees and departmental meetings to review the policy of installation of these obsolete road studs. He however regretted that due to indifference towards abiding by the traffic rules and adventurous driving the authority was forced to use such gadgets ,” he added.
The director said some different sizes of road studs were being used ranging from 4 to 8 inches, meant to specified purpose and areas.Big cat’s eyes were installed near schools, mosques and hospitals as the CDA received complaints regarding hit and run cases.
“The rash drivers receive jerk when they drive through these cat’s eyes and are compelled to lessen the speed of their vehicles,” Fateh added.
CDA Director Traffic Engineering Azam Lodhi informed that the authority was well cognizant of the public criticism on the issue, especially a recent social media campaign and a new plan was formulated
to replace heavy metals studs and fix small rubber made to ensure public safety.
Lodhi said the removal of these archaic reflectors was awaiting financial assistance.
Meanwhile the citizens’ social media campaign gets in to more forceful phase calling as soon as early removal of obsolete and broken cat’s eyes from the roads. Terming it a serious threat to the public safety, they said, it is not only giving an uncivilized look but also proving land mines for the vehicles’ tyres.
Shabraiz Iqbal, a resident of I-9 sector said these cat’s eyes had been banned across the world after criticism by the road-users. However, these studs were still found on every road, highways and even though in the streets of Pakistan.
He informed that one of his friend recently bore a serious injury as a nail of broken cat’s eye penetrated inside his head.
Urging the authorities concerned, Shabraiz said, though removal of the cat’s eyes from every road of the capital may take time but at least , the departments concerned should fix the broken ones timely.
The message circulating on Face book,Whats app and Twitter titled #Say No to Cat’s eyes, reads that “The reflective road studs or “cat’s eye” that are used in the world to mark the lanes are used as speed breakers in Pakistan.
These are highly harmful for cars & motor bikes tyres. In fact they damage cars’ suspension and skidding off can lead to serious accident.’