Traffic police appear to have quietly banned motorcycles on the Ring Road. They have been issuing tickets to motorcyclists over the last month for using the road, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The motorcyclists complained that they had been banned and fined without being informed in advance that using the Ring Road was an offence. Asked about the situation, senior traffic police officials said they didn’t know of any such ban on motorcycles.
Copies of challans written out to motorcyclists for traffic code violation number nine, the use of prohibited roads, are available with The Express Tribune. This correspondent spoke to a number of motorcyclists, almost none of whom knew that they could not use the Ring Road.
Jamal Khan said that he had been using the Ring Road since it was opened but four days ago, a warden challaned him for using it. “The warden told me that I could only use the service lane, but there is no service lane alongside the road,” said Khan. “I asked him how the road could be banned for bikers but he kept saying that it was banned and that’s all he knew.”
Traffic Police Inspector Amir said that the road had been banned for bikers for safety reasons.
He said that over the last two months, 15 motorcyclists had died in accidents on the Ring Road, but there had been no fatalities in accidents involving other vehicles. He said that they were being challaned under traffic code number nine. He said some signboards expressing the prohibition on bikes had been installed on the road.
A traffic warden, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that there were two problems with banning motorcyclists.
One, the service lanes were not designed for the purpose of functioning as a lane for motorbikes and didn’t stretch along the road in one piece. Second, he said, there were not enough boards displayed to inform the public about the restriction on motorbikes.
He said he only knew of two such boards. He said that traffic police had not yet been able to prevent rickshaws from using the Ring Road. He said that one lane on the road should be reserved for bikes and others.
City SP (Traffic) Mustafa Hameed Malik said that he knew of no effort by traffic police to stop bikes using the Ring Road. He said that it had launched a campaign against rickshaws because slow-moving traffic was a hazard on the road. There had also been a campaign to stop bikers from dangerous driving, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2011.
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