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Earlier this month, the Karachi Traffic Police, in an effort to curb traffic violations, announced that traffic regulations that are already in place will now be enforced forcefully; anyone violating them may now face jail time ranging between six months and two years. The regulations that the Traffic Police chose to focus include adherence to traffic signals, not using one-way thoroughfares as two-way roads and not allowing passengers to travel on the roof tops of buses.
These reforms are a continuation of the efforts by the Traffic Police which made it mandatory for motor cycle and pillion riders to wear helmets, car drivers to wear a seatbelts and banned qingqi rickshaws recently in an attempt to ensure road safety and prevent traffic jams. Another set of traffic regulations is expected to be enforced shortly, which will target people driving without a license, driving unregistered vehicles and exceeding speed limits.
Another development pertaining to Karachi’s chaotic traffic is the formation of a Traffic Management Board last month, which brought together representatives from the Karachi Traffic Police, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation as well as the City Commissioner.
The first step taken by the Board was commissioning a report that detailed the factors that have been causing an increasing number of traffic jams. The report listed broken, inundated roads which are sometimes used as garbage dumps, and a lack of adequate parking space outside wedding halls, offices and educational institutions as the primary causes. The board now plans to resolve these issues.
Furthermore, recognising that people often suffer at the hands of corrupt traffic police personnel, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Traffic, Karachi, Khadim Hussain Bhatti, announced the sanctioning of a dedicated e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, for people to lodge complaints against any misconduct they face from police personnel.
– Ayesha Shaikh