Islamabad : Managing traffic in urban areas, cities and towns is no more an administrative matter that could be handled through deployment of efficient (or inefficient) traffic police officials or installing traffic signals.
And we have seen that approach working effectively when as the SSP-Traffic (Senior Superintendent of Police-Traffic), Sultan Azam Temuri founded the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP).
Traffic management has become a matter to be dealt with in a scientific manner involving collection of accurate data on flow of traffic in different directions during different time spans in a day and the types of vehicle plying on the roads and highways.
Last time a traffic count survey was conducted was back somewhere in 1977-78 by the National Transport Research Centre (NTRC) of the Planning Commission. The initiative was taken by the then Chief of NTRC, M. Sadiq Swati, who besides conducting the traffic count survey, also prepared the ‘Highway Code booklet’ to educate the drivers.
Recently, Dr Sultan Azam Temuri, who has returned to the federal capital as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) initiated a move to help people going to offices, schools, businesses in morning and returning home in the evening when he stopped movement of heavy traffic of trucks, trailers and tractor-trolleys on the Islamabad Highway and Expressway from 7 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm to ease the flow of traffic.
The move was widely hailed and appreciated!
Now we have been told that the IGP Temuri is not letting the matter go and contemplating some more steps to ease the flow of traffic on the Islamabad Highway, especially from Faizabad fly-over to T-Chowk on the GT (Grand Trunk) Road.
In the next step a plan is being chalked out by him to reign in the bikers and make them keep to the extreme left lane on any type of road, highway or the Expressway. Every motorist on the road knows what a nuisance these bikers turn out to be.
Unfortunately if a biker is hit, the fault lies squarely on the driver of the vehicle and if the accident is serious enough to catch the attention of the media (electronic in particular), the most common line repeated umpteen times is ‘Car swar nay ghreeb ghranay ka chasham charagh gul kar diya’!
In this situation if IGP Temuri takes some meaningful steps to put some fear of God in the hearts of these bikers, that would be a great achievement.
Another initiative being contemplated for implementation is to check ‘lane violation’, thus educating the motorists to learn the importance of keeping to their own lane according to the speed they are driving at for maintaining a smooth flow of traffic.
Yet another initiative the IGP Islamabad (former SSP Traffic of Islamabad) is pondering upon is to increase the amount of fine for traffic violations to the mark where it would really hurt the violator of rules and laws.
All of us know that the meagre fines imposed for most serious traffic laws and rules violations, which quite often led to fatal accidents, could hardly be considered as effective preventive punishments. The easiest way to make people respect, obey and follow the law is to raise the fines where that should not just pinch but sting and hurt bad!
But this move is certainly beyond his powers and the best he can do is to prepare some solid recommendations and send those to the legislators to make new or amend the existing laws governing movement of vehicles on the roads, highways and motorways in the country.
Keeping in view the track record of Sultan Azam Temuri one can keep a very high level of optimism that he would bring about some noticeable order in the haywire traffic that we encounter on our roads and highways every minute of a day that we spend on roads!