Seldom is the patience of drivers on urban roads tested with such graveness, as when young lads on motorcycles whizz magically through blind spots to overtake cars minding their own business. For many, motorcycles have proved to be an affordable choice of transport, costing as little as Rs. 37,000, and usually requiring a down payment of Rs.12,000 to lease, with monthly installments of Rs.2,000. An affordable, and reliable, means of transport.
With the great surge of motorcycles however, have come traffic problems that are exceedingly dangerous to the lives and properties of those on the roads. They have a huge part to play, for example, in cementing Pakistan’s reputation as a country with one of the worst traffic records in the world. From playing their part in general congestion, the indifference towards traffic rules and the hooliganism that seems to possess all young men the moment they take control of a bike, it is no surprise that a significant number of motorcycle accidents result in fatalities . Every driver on the roads of Pakistan is familiar with the young motorcyclist whizzing through traffic, blaring obnoxious horns, changing lanes as and when they see fit. They don’t wear helmets, usually piled full of families and babies hanging by the odd limb- effectively making motorcycles little more than a deathtrap in the case of collisions.
If motorcycles have been made affordable, so should their use be regulated. The transport infrastructure has simply not been designed with so many motorcyclists in mind, and it is beginning to show. Rules must be stringently implemented by traffic police until such a time as separate bike lanes can be accommodated, at least on major city roads. A keen watch on changing lanes, on keeping the fast lane restricted to cars, on the open distribution of licences must be implemented. Many accidents are caused by minors taking to the roads; it is time to bring the motorcycles and the rest of the drivers in line. Too long have we let carelessness and apathy become the sole reason for deaths on the road. This is fast becoming too serious an issue to ignore.