Yet another fatal accident on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway has robbed 20 innocent people of their lives. Unfortunately, this is now a common occurrence in Pakistan. Unlicensed and untrained drivers continue to flout highway rules without any regard for the passengers they are responsible for. A little discipline and diligence go a long way when it comes to things like this and, more importantly, can be lifesaving.

According to reports of the incident, the driver is likely to have lost control of the over-speeding bus which then rammed into a tanker carrying thousands of litres of oil. The collision immediately triggered an explosion and the vehicle caught on fire, killing 20 and severely injuring six unsuspecting passengers. The intensity of the accident was such that some bodies were burned beyond recognition.

Fortunately, the motorway police were quick to act and deploy all the emergency resources available to prevent any more devastation but by that time, most of the damage had already been done. There is no doubt that this was a preventable accident. 20 people should not have lost their lives on Tuesday but they did because reckless driving seems to be the norm in Pakistan, even though countless highway traffic regulations and warnings exist to discourage such practices.

Not only should this serve as a warning to people of their impatient and risky attitudes but it should also force private companies to undergo a more thorough process of recruitment. People entrust their lives to these companies the minute they buy a ticket and the least that can be done is to ensure that trained, qualified and licensed individuals are driving these passengers to their destinations. Sure, there is always a margin for human error that should be accounted for but when the country is reporting over 10,000 accidents on a year-to-year basis, there is clearly a deeper problem that must be addressed.