One-wheelers rule roads as police spectate silently

Motorcyclists defend dangerous thrill-seeking activity, term it a sport and power trip

Police authorities across the country seem clueless about effective measures to curb one-wheeling. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Noman's family is still reeling from the loss of their young son, the victim of a fatal one-wheeling accident that occurred two years ago on Independence Day, on Peshawar’s busy University Road. The tragic incident, which claimed Noman's life, serves as a stark reminder of the perils of one-wheeling which continues unabated across the country. Faheem Khan, Noman's brother, lamented the devastating impact of such incidents while talking to the Express Tribune.

"I never imagined our lives would be shattered in an instant. My brother's love for adrenaline-fueled stunts cost him his life," said Faheem, with a heavy heart. Similarly, in Peshawar's Chamkani suburb, another young man named Asif recently suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, leaving him unable to work due to a broken arm. Asif's father, Liaquat, recounted the agony of witnessing his son's suffering, urging for increased awareness and enforcement to deter such risky behaviour. "We warned him countless times, but he would not listen. Now, our lives are forever altered because of his recklessness," Liaquat expressed, his voice laden with sorrow.

The menace of one-wheeling extends beyond Peshawar, plaguing major cities like Lahore and Karachi as well. Young thrill-seekers like Ismail Khan, Salman Masih, and Kashan Saleem, who were recently named in an FIR filed by Lahore Police for one-wheeling, shed light on the allure of the dangerous activity, whilst talking to the Express Tribune. "We enjoy the awe of bystanders when we ride out in groups. The sense of power we feel is an addiction,” explained Ismail. Adding on to Ismail’s assertion, Salman, a shop worker, admitted that despite the risks involved, one-wheeling was the source of an unparalleled high for him. Meanwhile, in Karachi, where the craze for one-wheeling is similar to that in Peshawar and Lahore, separate youth groups organise competitions that draw large crowds.

Read also: One-wheelers confronted by police open fire in Lahore

Despite the grim toll on lives and livelihoods, enthusiasts like Waseem Ahmad defend the activity, likening it to a sport. "We live for the thrill,” simply remarked Waseem, a seasoned participant in Karachi's one-wheeling scene. With one-wheelers unable to see past the adrenaline rush towards the obvious risks associated with the activity, police authorities across the country seem clueless about effective measures to curb the practice. Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) for Lahore, Amara Athar, was of the view that the thrill-seeking behaviour associated with one-wheeling was driving the country’s youth towards danger and therefore not only strict laws but also educational campaigns were the need of the hour. In this regard, Amara, emphasised the importance of strict legislation and proactive policing to curb the rising tide of accidents and fatalities from one-wheeling. However, contrary to Amara’s suggestions, in Karachi, the efforts of traffic police to curb one-wheeling are met with limited success, with only a fraction of offenders being penalised each month. Abdul Jabbar, a concerned father from the Gulshan-e-Hadeed area, whilst sharing a harrowing account of his son's near-fatal accident, regretted the lack of implementation of existing laws by the traffic police.

 "We cannot sit idly by as our children put their lives at risk. The authorities must crack down on this menace before it claims more innocent lives," Jabbar implored. While traffic police departments across the country do not collect specific data regarding one-wheeling related fines or accidents, anecdotal evidence suggests that the toll of one-wheeling related accidents continues to mount. Consequently, there is a growing consensus on the need for collective action. Ali Gohar, a lawyer based in Peshawar, emphasised the importance of societal involvement, calling for education and awareness initiatives to combat the root causes of the problem. "The onus is on all of us to address this crisis. From parents to policymakers, we must work together to steer our youth away from danger," urged Ali while talking to the Express Tribune.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ