Islamabad: It was an unbelievable sight and experience on the ‘Islamabad Highway’ on Monday morning, while travelling to office from Bahria Town. There were no trucks on the road!
We thought that to be a ‘one timer’ because of some inexplicable reason but we have observed since last Monday that trucks are not plying on the Islamabad Highway in the morning as well as in the late afternoon-early evenings.
It was a great relief because these trucks, trailers, oil tankers and tractor-trolleys had been the biggest hurdle in the smooth flow of traffic on the Islamabad Highway. Not only that these trucks and trailers loaded way beyond their capacity and capability, had been moving at snail’s pace but the incidents of one of these breaking down, mainly because of a broken axel, were almost everyday occurrences.
And those who had been travelling up and down on the Islamabad Highway, especially beyond Nullah Korang bridge, know exactly as to what such a truck break-down means! So, it was heart-warming pleasant surprise to notice absence of trucks at the time when everybody was heading for one’s office, business, school, college or university. We thought the travel time would be cut by at least 15 percent if not more because of the absence of these monstrous trucks and trailers on the road!
On inquiring, we came to know that the matter was raised by some concerned citizens with the Inspector-General of Islamabad Police, Sultan Azam Temuri, who promised to take some steps to improve the conditions.
If one may recall, Sultan Azam Temuri was the founder of the modern Islamabad Traffic Police and specializes in sorting the traffic issues. And he took the most pragmatic and the simplest of step to solve the problem.
He banned movement of all heavy traffic (trucks, trailers, oil tankers, tractor-trolleys) on the Islamabad Highway from 7 a.m to 9 a.m and from 4 p.m to 7 p.m to facilitate the employees, businessmen and students. It was believed that the problem would be solved.
But this was not to be! The traffic was still unruly as is (unfortunately) our ‘nature’ and moving at a slow pace.If we may leave the bikers out, the cars made almost 99 per cent of the vehicular traffic on the road in absence of trucks and trailers of all kinds.
The problem now was caused by the slowest moving vehicles keeping to the ‘Right Lane’, thus causing utmost annoyance and frustration to those who wanted to move fast! Constant flashing of beam light or even continuous honking would not make them give way by moving to the ‘Slow Lane’.
The bikers would keep the motorists on tenterhooks by outrageously checking the reflexes of the car driver as they would switch lanes maintaining a distance of inches or some time even millimetres!
An overwhelming majority of these motorcyclists are not wearing safety helmets and actually invoke fear of God in the hearts of motorists as it would be the motorist held responsible for the accident involving a biker.
The traffic was moving in 5 lanes towards Islamabad on a two-lane highway from the only traffic signal left on the Islamabad Highway right up to the narrow two-lane bridge on nullah Korang. And the lane violation by the slow moving vehicles and the reckless driving by the motorcyclists continued to haunt the commuters.