HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Residents and drivers in western Herat province say non-functional traffic lights and lack of traffic signs in intersections of Herat City, the provincial capital, often lead to accidents and traffic jams.
Herat city is the most congested city after Kabul, but all vehicles in the city move without any traffic lights in intersections and traffic signs at roadsides, which often result in accidents, disorder and create problems for pedestrians.
Mumtaz Ahmad, a resident of Herat city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that non-functional traffic lights were behind chaotic traffic in the city and caused many accidents.
“It is the duty of governmental officials to activate traffic lights and prevent disorder of traffic in the city”, he said.
Mohammad Khan, a driver in Herat city, said disorganized and unruly traffic made it difficult for him to drive in the city.
He said if the traffic lights were made functional, they would prevent disorder and accidents.
Ghulam Hazrat, a taxi driver said, pedestrians could not cross the road due to inactive traffic lights and sometimes they were hit by vehicles.
“If the traffic lights are made operational, it will bring urban order to the city”, he said.
But officials of the traffic police department blame the municipality for the nonfunctional traffic lights in Herat city.
Zabihullah Akbari, Herat traffic department head, acknowledged the importance of traffic lights in intersections of the city as they help prevent from road accidents and traffic jams.
Akbari said relevant departments of the Herat municipality in coordination with the traffic police department planned to repair the faulty traffic lights, a process that would being from four most busiest parts of the city.
He expected a 30 to 40 percent decrease in traffic accidents with activation of the traffic lights.
NaserArmal, spokesman for the municipality, said repair work of the out of order traffic lights has been already launched in different parts of the city, with priority being given to the most crowded areas.
He clarified the technical team of the municipality wanted to replace the old and classic system of traffic lights with a modern traffic lights system in coordination with the traffic police department.
“It is the priority for the municipality to install traffic lights in the most crowded parts of the city first and then extend the work of installation of traffic lights to other parts of the city which will cost two million afs in total”.
It is worth mentioning that there are 92 squares, intersections and roundabouts in Herat City and only 15 of them are equipped with traffic lights with some already nonfunctional.
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