Despite limited resources, we are implementing traffic laws and also conducting sessions at different institutions, including schools and colleges, to make the public aware of the laws, said Karachi Traffic Police chief Javed Ali Mehar in a talk with The News.
DIG Mehar said encroachments and designated parking places for vehicles were the major hindrances to the smooth flow of traffic in the city. However, he said, he had instructed his officers to remove encroachments from their areas and told the traffic cops to report to their SSPs any encroachments being raised and work with the local police to remove them.
He ordered that traffic police put up proper traffic signs to facilitate the public. He added that stern action would be taken against those violating traffic rules, buses carrying passengers on their roofs, more than two pillion passengers on motorbikes, motorcyclists not wearing helmets, speeding and other violations.
DIG Mehar maintained that despite limited resources they were trying to implement traffic laws and due to their efforts they had managed to bring down the ratio of road accidents this year, as since January 1, 2019, 145 fatal and 51 non-fatal accidents had been reported.
He added that it is noticed that it is pedestrians who usually fall victim to road accidents, followed by cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers and passengers. Moreover, it is speeding by buses, mini-buses, trucks, trailers and tankers that causes accidents, with motorcyclists and pedestrians coming under their wheels while crossing the road.
Speeding cars have also claimed a number of lives of pedestrians crossing roads, and to overcome this recklessness they have deployed officials on major thoroughfares with vehicles and speed guns so as to stop reckless driving and speeding, said the Karachi police chief.
He identified rash and negligent driving, illegal encroachments on roads, unavailability of pedestrian bridges, absence of zebra crossings and installation of fancy grills along major thoroughfares, which falls under the responsibility of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, as major causes of accidents.
According to DIG Mehar, in many cases where pedestrian bridges and zebra crossings exist, people often avoid using them to cross busy roads and eventually fall victim to traffic accidents. It is noticed that many roads of the city do not have proper stop points and zebra crossings, as buses usually stop in the middle of the roads to pick passengers, which is also a major cause of accidents. He said they had requested the relevant quarters to resolve this issue.
Moreover, strict directives have been issued to his subordinates to stop one-way violations and implement the rule for the wearing of helmets by motorcyclists. DIG Mehar said that during the year 2019, they had challaned 2.8 million vehicles and fined them a total of 650 million, of which they had recovered about 600 million, the highest figure. They had also impounded 844,361 vehicles which were involved in violating traffic laws, arrested 4,526 drivers for reckless and negligent driving and also arrested 6,544 drivers under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance for various violations.
Other challans included 931,000 for one-way violations, 970,552 for driving without helmets, 30,473 for using fancy number plates, 17,413 for using tinted glasses, 3,806 public transport vehicles for carrying passengers on rooftops, 26,607 for signal violations and 59,919 for driving vehicles without licence.
DIG Mehar said that to educate the people about traffic laws, he had revived the practice of conducting traffic education sessions, and during the year 2019 they had conducted 563 programs for students, teachers and drivers at schools, colleges and universities, besides holding sessions for members of the public, government organisations, and armed forces (navy and air force). He added that the awareness program included following traffic signs and signals, and using pedestrian bridges, zebra crossings and subways.
What to keep in mind while driving: Use the side mirrors, the back view mirrors, and the seatbelt, and don’t use mobile phones. Motorcyclists should use helmets and chain cover and carry driving licences.
This system includes a number of initiatives: lectures and children’s videos featuring traffic poems at primary level; motivational videos for implementation of rules at secondary level; and videos of accidents and suggestions for teachers, volunteers, parents and drivers.
The beneficiaries are advised to share the same information with their family members and friends. Mostly, this information is conveyed in a 15 to 20 minutes’ session.
Students are given awareness about signal violations, shown videos burkas getting caught in motorcycle wheels, advised not to use mobile phones while driving, wear a helmet, not to do one-wheeling, not to drive without a licence (social media clips), and not to travel on bus rooftops.
They are also advised against using fancy number [lates, (miscellaneous accidents’ videos), tinted glasses, and opening the car door wrongly. The students are also advised to wear the seatbelt through a video message, following No-Parking rules, not to drive on the wrong side, not to indulge in speeding or overloading.
High-rank officers related to the MV inspection department attend awareness programme sessions, which include presentations on traffic rules/road signs, presentations on TVES-TTMS challan system, introduction of Traffic Police Helpline 1915, FM Radio, social media and other traffic achievements, presentations on traffic problems, and role of other stakeholders in resolving problems and improving traffic.
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