KARACHI: With the increasing number of cyclists on the streets of the city, Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani has issued on Tuesday a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) pertaining to cycling in the metropolis.
A notification issued in this regard calls for cyclists to ensure that they meet the necessary safety standards and have the relevant safety equipment. Cyclists have been asked to ensure that they have proper fitting helmets and some form of reflective material on their clothing as well as reflective strips at the back and front of bicycles when cycling at night.
Furthermore, before setting out to cycle, they must ensure that their breaks work and their cycles do not have a flat tire. At least one hand must be kept on the handlebar and any items or goods need to be carried while cycling must be kept in a carrier or a backpack. When cycling in a group, social distancing must be maintained, as per the notification.
Cyclists have also been asked to obey all traffic rules, signs and signals, including cycling in the same direction as the traffic flow, riding in the extreme left lane, signalling when turning and being mindful of the traffic surrounding them when attempting to turn, especially the vehicles behind them.
The directives also call for being careful to avoid road hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravels, puddles, leaves and animals, as these can cause crashes. Wearing headphones while cycling has also been discouraged, in order to avoid any dangerous situations.
All riders have been asked to follow these SOPs and a failure to do so will lead to legal prosecution under relevant traffic laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2020.