Changing Moods Ruin Circulation System – Pakistan
Mood swing ruining the circulation system
ISLAMABAD, (APP) – Changing moods with growing impatience, haste, arrogance and negligence have badly affected the traffic system in the capital. Despite the widening of the main arteries and the efforts made to ensure effective policing, the situation does not show much improvement.
Blowing horns where prohibited, parking a vehicle at a “No Parking” sign, cutting into others’ paths, ignoring lanes, violating signals, and answering phone calls in the center of the road are general trends we have developed over time. Speeding, false overtaking and sharp turns often lead to serious accidents.
This situation requires early attention from the authorities before the federal capital is hit by a total traffic mess. A few motorists care about the rights of others as the majority have their own rules and priorities on the road. More often than not, it seems that the rules of the road have become for them a forgotten or obsolete dogma.
The serene generation is gradually disappearing and an anxious and hasty generation is replacing it, which desperately needs to be taught about revered traditions and customs. One driver interviewed described this trend as the result of a particular mental approach aimed at personal satisfaction. “Most of the time people take pride in breaking the rules. They know they can handle themselves, if arrested for violation,” commented a more sane commuter, Adnan Ahmed. “Why we tend to break laws for our personal gratification. Why we stray from ethics.
From a road-side perspective, it seems we know the least about the rules of the road. Regardless, the exceptions are still there, but those exceptions are overwhelmed by majority offenders. “We have a five lane road on each side, even then the traffic situation is pathetic,” said another motorist, Dilshad Ahmed, of the Islamabad highway. “For me, it’s not a question of space but better traffic. We need strict legislation and its implementation.
Taxi and private vehicle drivers and motorcyclists of our time have become the most careless generation. Moving at a snail’s pace, taking turns suddenly, applying brakes anywhere to choose a passenger and cutting into the way of others is their particular driving style. Like many, they are mostly arrogant and ready to fight, telling others to “mind their own business” when advised to drive carefully. Women and the elderly have their own driving mood. They constantly continue to drive very slowly in the fast lane. Even horns and flash light from behind make no difference to them.
This situation forces the followers to overtake wrongly. ‘Mind your own business and don’t teach us the rules’ is a common response we get when asking anyone to play by the rules,” said businessman Muhammad Saleem. “So we have no choice but to remain silent. But this silence on our part or that of the authorities spoils our overall social fiber,” he said. In recent years, bikers have become more unruly than anyone. Snaking through vehicles on a congested road and discriminatingly zigzagging through all lanes, even when vehicles are moving at a faster pace, is their particular mindset.
They are often seen driving through cars and jeeps in the fast lane with the least concern for their safety and the safety of others. Jaywalkers are also men of their moods. They rarely cross the road from zebra crossings or overhead bridges. “Let others save them and not themselves” is the philosophy behind their straight line flight from one side of the road to the other. Chatting and listening to phone calls from the driver’s seat is another and more dangerous mood as it sometimes leads to fatal accidents. “We need effective traffic enforcement.
In many countries traffic is smooth, even on roads narrower than ours,” said Muhammad Rauf, an expatriate Pakistani. “When we are in Dubai or London we fully respect their laws, but here we feel free to break the laws.” Seen from all angles, it seems to be a matter of training, legislation and implementation and our legislators and police have a major role to play in taming unruly drivers.
But the police have their own constraints. Continuous tasks, overwhelming traffic load and insufficient deployment are their common irritating problems. “Should I shoot him if he annoys other commuters,” was an acerbic comment from an ITP official when his attention was drawn to a continued violation of the lane by a loader truck driver. His comment was not shocking as he was deployed to manage traffic at the Gulberg Greens interchange – the capital’s toughest spot in terms of traffic monitoring. Asked about this attitude, his answer was simple.
“Please stay here a while and see what people are doing. After all, we are human beings too. We penalize offenders. But people also have to show responsibility. He sought the patronage of senior administration to compel people to fully abide by the laws.Chief Superintendent of Police Rai Mazhar was unavailable to comment on the situation despite repeated attempts.
This situation is telling and clearly calls for effective enforcement of the laws before more sane road users also become unruly. Motorists must receive the necessary education and those in service must have the full patronage of the higher administration. Authorities should also focus on road marking, strict licensing mechanism and increasing traffic management strength.
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