Helmet-compulsory drive runs out of steam in Karachi

September 9, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: A large number of parents in Karachi is dismayed as the robust drive of Karachi Traffic police against helmet-less bike drivers ran out of steam after a good show for a couple of weeks.

In May this year the Karachi traffic police had announced that from June 1, 2015 every bike rider – diver or pillion rider, male or female – would have to wear protective crash helmet or pay fine and face jail. This bold decision was highly welcomed by parents who were worried about their bike riding children, as in Karachi young bikers not wearing helmets are main target of head injuries in road accidents. However, as expected this helmet-compulsory drive was not in alignment with rural-minded governance style of Sindh rulers, it was practically shelved, saving a few challans a day as eye wash.

In developed countries safety of women and children is considered critically necessary but even before the helmet-compulsory drive could start no other but the Inspector General of Sindh Police himself exempted the female pillion riders from wearing safety helmets. Had some police boss in any civilized urban city had announced such a decision he would have faced a severe backlash from public and media, as women’s safety is given more importance to men’s safety in these educated societies. No civilized country allows parents to carry small children on motorbikes, but in our society even infants are seen in the laps of mothers pillion riding bikes in dangerously busy roads.

It has been observed that a large number of bikers is violating the rule of wearing helmet in the city. This results in fatal head injuries during accidents of such bikes. These accidents are common on congested roads including Shahra-e-Faisal, MA Jinnah Road, Shahra-e-Quaideen, University Road, Tariq Road, Korangi Road, National Highway and many others arteries.

In developed countries no one is allowed to ride even a ‘bicycle’ without wearing crash helmet and safety jackets, because their administrations believe in “safety first is safety always”. However, in our part of the world government officials are playing with lives of citizens by not taking action against them when they do not wear helmets while riding motorbikes. Unprotected ride of motorcycle is very dangerous as the most sensitive part of the human body, the head, is not protected it is the first part of the body that crashes with road in case of bike accident.

It has been seen on city’s different roads, that young motorcyclists ride their bikes without following the traffic rules and regulations and are often seen violating the speed limit, and one way rules freely.

When contacted, DIG Traffic Police Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh said the action against traffic law violators never stops but it continues as per the traffic laws in the city. He said they sometimes start a campaign as to get attention of traffic law violators and focus of media so that negligent people could follow the law.