Merchants of death

Published: July 20, 2016

Driving a car is one frightening experience on a Sunday evening on Karachi’s Beach Avenue or Khayaban-e-Ittehad as herds of young adrenaline junkies riding motorbikes of all shapes and sizes go on a rampage, making life miserable for ordinary car drivers hoping to reach their destination unscathed.

Most of these riders are teenagers who terrorise all in their way by screaming past at blinding speeds and often lose control crashing in cars around them — causing injuries to both themselves and their victims.

Some are lucky to escape with minor injuries while some even lay down their lives in search of some thrill and excitement due to their over-zealous approach.

These bikers are in plain and simple words harassing drivers around them and their ‘bravado’ is extremely irritating and at times unnerving for those unfortunate ones caught up in the frenzy.

Over the years the authorities, especially the traffic police have seemingly turned a blind eye to the predicament and their laidback approach is simply encouraging the thrill-seekers to go off-limit every weekend or on any public holiday.

Pakistan is plagued with lawlessness and these hooligans have all going in their favour as they stride out of their homes to venture into an ‘adventure’ that is life-threatening and extremely dangerous.

One isn’t sure if there has ever been a survey done to ascertain the casualties caused by the madness that prevails on the streets of Karachi or to educate the thrill-seekers of how potentially lethal their bike manoeuvres are.

We often hear the youth bemoaning the lack of entertainment opportunities in the country but that does not by any stretch of imagination give them the licence to resort to recklessness on the roads.

The only way to curb this growing menace is strong legislation and strict punishment for the offenders and the government should ensure that the lawmakers are facilitated in their pursuits.

While one can’t stop people from taking their lives in their own hands, the authorities must wake up from their years-old slumber and protect the ones who are simply victims of the madness. The adventure of one cannot be at the peril of another.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2016.

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