The dangerous tradition of motorcycle stunts continued unchecked this Eid as at least 10 people were killed and more than 100 injured while performing stunts in different cities. Last year, some 200 ended up in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in the capital and that should have been enough to prompt stricter action against risk-takers this year. Yet the long-standing tradition continues to persist and a large number of young people spend their holidays performing stunts on their motorcycles while law enforcement agencies remain unsuccessful in cracking down on this life-threatening breach of road safety.

The trend of one-wheeling or motorcycle racing has picked up momentum as an unregulated sport rather than isolated events on the holidays. It has become a part of the nightlife in Lahore especially, where young motorcyclists take over the Canal Road on Saturday and Sunday from midnight to pre-dawn to perform stunts on their two-wheelers, participate in the races, and receive appreciation from a substantial number of spectators. The sport brings in revenue as well as the spectators gamble on their favourite players during the races while the organisers collect cash from each player as token fee and the winner gets a sizeable amount, adding to the allure of the sport.

In order to allow young people to have an avenue to pursue their hobbies without hurting themselves or others, they need to be provided with a designated area to allow such activities in a safe and controlled manner. If a safe space is provided to legitimise and regulate the sport, or to create more avenues and events to celebrate holidays such irresponsible behaviour could be mitigated. However, it is unfortunate that young people in Pakistan take to the streets, disrupt traffic and violate traffic rules and the safety of others; just for “fun”. They share in the blame for the deaths and injuries.