An avoidable tragedy

The surprise is not that this accident took place but that there haven’t been countless others like it.

Editorial December 08, 2010

The horrific accident that killed five spectators at a drag race in Bahria Town took place on December 5 and already the various parties involved are trying to cover their tracks. The police claim they refused permission for the race to go ahead, but the organisers proceeded anyway. The organisers, while insisting they had a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Bahria Town management, blamed the spectators for not heeding their warnings to keep a safe distance from the action.

One thing is clear from footage of the accident that has been doing the rounds on the internet. The organisers of the race had not put up sufficient security barriers to keep the spectators safe. Apart from pursuing criminal charges to ensure that the organisers are held responsible for their actions, the authorities will also have to investigate the role played by the Bahria Town management and the police. Is it true that the police refused to let the race go ahead? And if they did, how could they not have known that the race was still going to take place, given that it was heavily advertised? The Bahria Town management must also answer how they gave an NOC without checking that stringent safety measures were put in place. The organisers of the race may be the chief culprits but there is plenty of blame to go around.

The larger issue of illegal and unregulated races also needs to be addressed before tragedy strikes again. In all major cities of the country, impromptu speed races, with souped-up cars, crop up regularly. Often, the drivers are underage and possess more daring than sense. The police are usually nowhere to be seen and even if they do try to put an end to the proceedings, a simple bribe is enough to deal with the matter. The surprise, then, is not that this accident took place but that there haven’t been countless others like it.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2010.


sehar zaman | 12 years ago | Reply The loss of precious lives in the bahria town debacle is tragic to say the least and those responsiable for the lax in safety of spectatots should be severely dealt with, but is it right to out right ban such races? in a country where playgrounds, stadiums, and the promtion of sports is the least of anyones concerns, is it right to ban a sport that is clearly very popular among the youth, not only in pakistan, but also the world over. i think sports of any kind should be encouraged, but in extreme sports like these proper security measures should be taken to ensure the safety of spectators. it should also be ensured that the drivers are not underage. i think if these youth have proper grounds to show-off their speedidng skills, there will be less accidents on the roads.
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