LAHORE: In order to discourage one-wheeling and rash driving by underage drivers, City Traffic Police Lahore (CTPL) have once again launched a crackdown ahead of August 14 when a huge number of youth take to the streets in jubilant mood.
In 2014, a similar campaign was also launched. During that campaign, CTPL had impounded the vehicle a of underage drivers when he/she failed to produce his/her Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC). Wardens would also ask the driver to bring the CNIC if it was at home. The police would free the vehicle after a warning and fine when the parents of an underage driver would come to the traffic police. Many incidents of arguments and exchange of harsh words with each other were also reported during the campaign. On Saturday, CTPL again launched the same campaign.
Spokesperson for CTPL said they issued challan to 462 underage drivers, impounded 99 motorcycles and 18 rickshaws driven by juvenile drivers in different police stations on Saturday. As many as 116 challan tickets over violation of substandard number plates, 28 without number plates, 17 for applied for and 10 motorcyclists for rash driving were issued.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Traffic Officer Rai Ijaz Ahmad said underage drivers, rash driving and pressure horns not only put the life of the driver in danger but other commuters on roads as well. “Discouraging juveniles from driving vehicles is the responsibility of parents,” he added. He warned to impound the vehicle driven by juvenile driver and free after assurance of parents. He also ordered traffic wardens and officers to impart awareness among the public about the issue also.
The campaign had been launched a week before August 14, the occasion when one-wheeling and rash driving by youth is common on the day. A large number of incidents of harassment and road traffic accidents are also reported due to rash driving, one-wheeling and other violations. The campaign is also a part of the strategy to discourage ‘rash’ motorcyclists on August 14.
City Police spokesperson said traffic police would be launching such campaigns to discourage traffic violations and raise awareness among the masses. Underage driving and rash motorcycling was a serious violation that was a major reason behind a huge number of accidents. The campaign would bring fruitful results, he voiced hope.
Data available with The Express Tribune showed that 4,717 accidents, 10% of total 45,094 accidents, in 2016 occurred due to underage driving. In 2015, 4,988 out of 46,268 accidents were reported due to underage driving. In 2016, 25,018 ie 55% of total accidents were motorcycle-related accidents and in 2015, such accidents were 23,681 ie 51% of the total accidents.
In the first four months of 2017, a total of 14,965 accidents were reported. Out of total, 1,608 RTAs occurred due to underage driving. 7,481 out of total accidents were motorcycle related accidents. 3,998 accidents occurred due to over speeding this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2017.