The traffic mayhem caused by heavy duty vehicles can be felt nowhere better than on the Islamabad Expressway. Heavy vehicles principally heavy good trailers are a nightmare on this already traffic-congested road. On the face of it, they play havoc with the flow of traffic.
“Heavy trailers inconvenience residents of PWD Colony and adjoining neighbourhoods as they block the road from the entry point up to the end of the road,” says Rehan Ali.
“Drivers who ply that route on a day in day out basis can attest to the chaos that occurs when heavy duty vehicles get entangled. This stretch is particularly overwhelmed by heavy duty trailers, delivering goods to nearby warehouses, principally those neighbouring the Bahria Town,” says Jafar Hussain.
“Drivers plying on that road also have to contend with another traffic nightmare in the repeated hold up of traffic by protestors of many kinds. In worst case scenarios, the heavy duty vehicles cause accidents. 14% of the accidents involve trailers and semi-trailers, 44% involve fuel trucks, 23% involve medium goods vehicles while 1% involve dual purpose vehicles,” says Rasheed Turabi.
“There is regular congestion on that road during peak hours. On my back and forth movements from home to work and from work to home, I regularly witness how slow moving trailers put a damper on the flow of traffic on the road and how the gridlock the trailers cause agitates drivers, especially car drivers and bikers, who as everybody knows are always in a rush to overtake and to get ahead of other vehicles,” says Zulfiqar Ali, an everyday driver on the road.
“Heavy vehicles including trailers, buses and trucks are known for their significant impact on traffic flow due to their big sizes and inferior performance on the road compared with an average automobile,” says Mujahid Hasan.
Muzaffar Qazalbash says: “Heavy vehicles slow down traffic flow and damage roads, hence increasing the cost of road infrastructural maintenance. If plans to have heavy vehicles kept out of this road were put into execution, the problem would have probably been solved. That the ban only lasts for some time and vehicles are back on the road speaks volumes of how ineffectual our policies are.”
“Environmentalists also point out that increase in the number of heavy duty vehicles on the city’s roads has inherently been accompanied by increase in congestion, pollutant emissions and energy use as well as road infrastructure overuse, all of which have broad societal implications,” says Shaukat Ali.
“The emissions of these heavy duty vehicles contribute evidently to global warming and have major implications for the health of many residents living along this traffic corridor,” says Ainy Jafari.