Ashraf was a 40-year-old man with a family of four children and a wife to look after. He used to sell electronic instruments and other household materials by roaming in streets of Bhakkar on his motorcycle. He was the only source of bread and butter for the survival of his family, so his children, not more than 8 years old, wait up every evening so that he may bring food for them. The city was 10km away from his village so he marched early in the morning for the sake of livelihood. His wife, everyday asked him to wear helmet for protection against ramshackle roads of the city but habitually he ignored her suggestion in haste. His bike was always overweighed due to burdensome machinery and items. He left his house in a very same routine two days before Eidul-Fitr but he didn’t know that he was going to leave this world the very very same day when he met with an accident on the main road of city. He lost control of his bike and fell on the road where a fast moving car struck the falling motorcycle so heavily that his head hit the ground and he was then unable to respire again just after a few seconds of severe head trauma. The witnesses were caught talking about the incident that if Ashraf were wearing helmet then his life would have been saved.

This is not only the story of Ashraf or just any individual but it is the sad vista of the whole South Punjab where most of the people scruple in wearing helmets and do not follow the traffic rules as they are not penalized or fined by the traffic police. There is no functional traffic police system in under developed cities where most of the people do not even have driving license and cannot pass the driving test. They just know the formalities of driving and are the prime cause of accidents on roads. The condition of roads puts oil in the fire. Over speeding and roads full of pot holes leading to major losses of life in these areas.

Earlier in November 2018, the government declared use of helmet compulsory in Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi region where traffic burden is higher than any other cities of Punjab but there, majority of the people are educated and they abide by the rules of traffic so this is not a major issue in those cities but it is for the cities of South Punjab where the majority do not know even the basics. There is no separate system of influx of heavy and light vehicles in these cities. Rickshaws are straggling on every road of these cities at a very high speed and there is no one to stop them.

The rickshaw and motorcycle accidents are now very common leading to serious injuries and even deaths. Alone in District Rahim Yar khan, approximately 300 motorcycle accident cases are recorded every day. According to a report, motorbikes are the cause of 80% road accidents and death ratio is more in cases where helmet was not used. These are the figures of only one district. The conditions are even worse in other under developed cities.

There is a dire need of implementation of traffic rules including wearing of helmet mandatory for the citizens. There should be a proper traffic management system at least in the populated areas of small cities so as to overcome the ratio of per day accidents. Only licensed drivers must be allowed to drive vehicles, those violating rules must be fined heavily. In big cities like Lahore, if someone is not wearing helmet while riding a motorcycle, then he has to pay Rs1000 as a fine and if a vehicle is overloaded, then there is a penalty of Rs300. There is also a fine of negligent and reckless driving in over-populated and developed cities of the country. These rules can play a significant role in awareness in under-developed cities as well, if abided by strictly. Special training institutes should be opened where driving and riding courses are initiated to aware people about their own safety and others too, for every single life is important.