Friday March 24, 2023

Drivers lack hazard perception

February 05, 2023

Rawalpindi : An initiative to put the brakes on bad driving in the city has become necessary. People squeeze past you where you cannot see any space. Some stop just short of your bonnet. There is nobody to take things under the control and train some city drivers about driving right and driving safely.

“Rawalpindi’s traffic situation is worst. Drivers drive over the speed limit, and those on motorbikes ride without helmets. The number and length of traffic jams, hours lost during congestion level, driving speeds, and distracted-driving fatalities lead to headaches,” says Talib Hussain. “Pindiites are all too familiar with jam-packed roads and long delays on area streets, plus the frustration they may cause. If I have thought driving in the city can be cumbersome, I am certainly not alone,” says Nisar Turabi.

“We get complaints from the public on a regular basis regarding road rage. It is usually about someone driving in a manner that is inappropriate, either they are tailgating or trying to lure someone into an altercation with another motorist,” says Mohsin Raza, a traffic officer.

“Aggressive driving breaches which lead to an argument with another driver include speeding, failure to stop, failure to signal, improper lane change, improper passing, following too closely, and distracted driving or using a handheld device,” adds Mohsin. “Share the road and if someone wants to get by you, let them pass and drive in a manner that won’t cause anxiety and stress and frustration to other people you share the road with,” says Jameel Naqvi, a police warden.

“A team of experts should deal with issues like motivation, the psyche of the driver, stress management, personal hygiene, and car maintenance. They need to make the drivers feel that they are the managers of the vehicle and of the people in the vehicle. It’s all their responsibility,” says Nasir Alvi. “Driving has a lot to do with the road situation as well. In Rawalpindi, the number of people has increased but the roads have remained the same. Dug-up roads are without proper signage and traffic movement is confused,” says Shafqat Ali.

“Apart from the condition of the road, drivers should be able to perceive what will happen on the road. Therefore, if there is a school, the driver should anticipate that there would be children nearby and hence, drive slowly. Or if it rains, he should know that he may not be able to see a pothole,” says Shabbir Hussain. Arif Zaidi says, “Yesterday going to the SNGPL office I saw people around me were zooming past me, going so close to my car that I was scared for my car and my life. I believe that a good driver does not need a sign to tell him what could go wrong. He should have some amount of hazard perception.”