The first day of the traffic campaign, being held by the Citizens Trust Against Crime (CTAC) and Citizens Police Liasion Committee, brought to light one of the biggest problems in traffic management - even if the police perform their duty diligently, without asking for any bribes or kickbacks, it’s the commuters who feel like the indignant party when asked to oblige by the law.
But luckily for the 40 officials of the Sindh police and traffic police, the presence of the Rangers, excise and taxation officials, volunteers of CTAC and most importantly, the media, made the first day of the drive a success.
The campaign against vehicles with fake documents, personalised licence plates, tinted glasses, drivers without licence and other violation of traffic laws started on Tuesday from district South and will eventually be extended across the city.
On the first day alone, over a dozen vehicles were impounded and challans were issued to over 150 vehicles at the checking point at the Sunset Boulevard of the Defence Housing Authority.
The traffic police were promptly issuing challans to cars owners while the Rangers were removing fancy number plates, sirens, flags and tinted glasses without wasting time on arguments. Vehicles with irregularities in licence plates and tinted glasses were stopped and checked in a row by the volunteers and the police while the documents were verified on the spot by the Excise and Taxation Department officials.
A number of commuters tried to coerce the police into letting them go by using the ‘I know an influential person’ card. Among them was Ameer Barakzai, a teenager whose car had a fake registration number plate. “I am the nephew of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durani,” he said, but his words failed to impress the police official who simply instructed his peer to “impound the car and remove the fake plate and tinted glasses. This boy is under age and can’t drive a car.”
A female student, wearing the card of university, Haniyeh Shaikh, started yelling at the Traffic Police SP when fined Rs 1,000 over fake government registration plates. “You have to talk to my Dad.
The car has been given to us by the government and you have no right to stop us in the middle of road,” she exclaimed.
On the other hand, there were also those commuters who not only accepted the fines they were handed quietly but also appreciated the initiative. “I have been fined Rs 1,000 for not keeping my driving licence and I am happy with it. I am volunteering to join the campaign and will help the police,” said Arjumand Asghar.
“No one is above the law. This campaign is based on zero tolerance and will continue till Karachi’ites understand that they have to change themselves,” said Traffic Police SP South Tanveer Odho, admitting that this was the first time that ‘influential people’ were being stopped and fined by the police. “We now have the support of both public and private sectors.”
A member of the CTAC, Naeem Sadiq, highlighted that some cars had registration plates of the United Arab Emirates. “A car with a Pakistani registration plate can’t be used in the UAE for even five minutes while our people think they can get away with UAE plates in Pakistan,” he said.
The drive will continue for two more days at the same place after which the checking point will be shifted to a new location in district South.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ