ISLAMABAD: After its inception, the federal capital witnessed decades’ long slumber with a limited number of people and minimal vehicular load on roads.
But, with every day down the road, this picturesque city started receiving inhabitants from different parts of country till recent years when it faced the biggest transition of its fate.
The capital that was once a jungle turned into a strategically planned and designed dwelling of its inhabitants that brought a mammoth crowd of automobiles with ever increasing population and traffic.
In the beginning, there was a very limited number of vehicles on the wide long roads and avenues of the capital but with every passing decade its expansion made a dreadful impact on the environment and traffic of the twin cities.
The number of automobiles increased to multiple times and today the numbers have increased beyond imagination, and are surprisingly not calculated by any authority.
Uncontrolled traffic is a problem but untrained drivers pose a serious threat to the security of the citizens.
It’s never too late to think and rectify mistakes committed collectively in general and individually in particular.
An Islamabad Traffic Police Official stated that it was quite disappointing to know that a chunk of drivers on the capital’s avenues were unable to discriminate between line and lane including working, business and student class.
He added that most of the traffic incidents have been witnessed on the roads during lane-switching by fast moving cars, bike riders and are mostly caused when they are unable to adjust their lanes accordingly.
According to the traffic official most people do not see the importance behind differentiating between line and lane, and question its purpose after being fined for over speeding and careless driving.
He said traffic police conduct lectures in all schools, colleges and universities.
Although it is a seemingly helpful idea to educate the youth regarding traffic rules and important traffic signs, results show that it is all in vain.
He further stated that it is due to this indifferent attitude that officials observe a recklessly driven car hitting a motorbike or a person crossing the road every now and then.
He believed that traffic police alone cannot be held responsible to control the deteriorating traffic situation in the capital; they are contributing as much as they can on their part.
Therefore, society should also play its role as local residents are the ones who create the road traffic and their efforts could bring positive results.
Schoolteacher Najma Shan, said the traffic in the capital is so rash that it creates many problems for women drivers.
“People have forgotten patience and respect for others and do not follow appropriately set rules or road etiquette; nobody even bothers to give way to an ambulance carrying a patient in critical condition to the hospital.” She said that it is high time for each one of us to train ourselves and there is no harm in learning about traffic rules and best driving techniques so that smooth traffic and a safe journey are ensured.
The next most troublesome thing is completely choked roads and junctions in the peak hours of the twin cities.
Astonishingly the situation is deteriorating as both the cities are flourishing with businesses and educational institutes.
It seems that city administration and the institutes have nothing to do with the traffic mess putting the smooth traffic flow in jeopardy.
“There are many countries in the world with the biggest capitals with many times bigger traffic moving on their roads, they also have peak hours but there is no such nuisance like the one people have to bear on the roads of twin cities,” said Mohammad Naqash is a university student who travels in his car to reach university.
He said the drivers particularly youngsters like me should drive responsibly while reaching their destinations, adding many young boys riding motorbikes haphazardly over take fast moving cars and switch lanes that bars car drivers to avoid any collision with them which at times becomes impossible in such manoeuvrings.
Arsala Karim, a motorbike rider said female students and entrepreneurs need to drive to move around in the city.
She lamented the poor behaviour of irritating car drivers and bike riders who do not follow their lanes properly and randomly shift into other lanes that causes road accidents.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2018.