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June 22, 2021

Challans increase, so do accidents

Imagine a bus driver, who has jumped red light and a biker without a helmet slugging it out on a busy intersection, pointing a finger at each other for violating traffic rules. This is precisely what happened on the Murree Road near Rescue 1122 office at the beginning of Rawal Road recently until a traffic constable intervened and fined both for their transgression.

The traffic police slap a considerable number of challans and pull together a whopping amount in a month. Most of this money comes in the form of fine on traffic violators, usually in places like Mareer Chowk, Liaquat Bagh, Committee Chowk, Naz Cinema, Chandni Chowk, Sixth Road Chowk, Shamsabad, and Faizabad.

At each of the above-mentioned places, the police record 350 challans every day. The traffic police collect money in thousands from violators by way of challans. Why it has not been able to bring the traffic under control. Challans are increasing, so do accidents. To compound matters, motorists continue to flout traffic rules with impunity.

Most of the fatal accidents take place on Islamabad Highway during the nighttime when heavy vehicles like trucks, trailers, dumpers, and buses have a tendency to accelerate the speed, change the prescribed lane and try to overtake light vehicles.

Traffic police took precautions, such as putting up barricades and installing speed cameras to ensure the implementation of traffic rules. Despite the installation of speed cameras and establishing barricades in order to check the speed of vehicles and to catch the offending drivers, the traffic violation scenario has not changed on the roads.

Even the surveillance cameras and the chip-based licenses have not helped much in implementing the tech-based penalty system. In spite of all these measures, the number of fatal as well as minor accidents have jumped amazingly this year compared to the previous year.

If one is to believe in the released statistics, every month the media from all over the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad report at least 150 simple accidents and 20 fatal accidents. Interestingly, last year’s traffic analysis by the Traffic Police reveals that people from other cities, who are not accustomed to the kind of traffic one witnesses in twin cities, are more prone to accidents.

As a matter of urgency, the Traffic Engineering Department should chalk out a plan and send proposals to other agencies like the Public Works Department, the Municipal Corporation of Rawalpindi, the City Cantonment Board, the Chaklala Cantonment Board, the Capital Development Authority and other relevant departments on ways to improve traffic, road dividers, road conditions, street lights, etc.In order to curb accidents, the authorities must take more drastic steps. More to the point, the traffic police should commission a website to elicit complaints from citizens.