If one person acts crazy it may appear to be a normal thing but if a hundred people act crazy it may seem strange as to why they are doing that. Imagine millions of people acting crazy and behaving normal as if nothing happened. It cannot happen anywhere else in the world. Such a thing could be possible only in Pakistan. People blindly follow the rules that are imposed or blindly do what others are doing. Across Pakistan and especially in the province of Punjab the government is promoting sports helmets for motorbike riders while the people considering that it is in their best interest continue to wear it.

It is hard to believe that traffic police is promoting use of these sports helmets while most traffic wardens are also using them. These helmets are for riders who take part in races. They don’t need to look back or on the sides. Wearing these helmets you cannot look to your right or left. The helmets with straps that are used all over India are the normal helmets that should have been promoted here. Wearing these helmets you could use see to your left or right or even back. This is extremely important since we have the worst traffic congestions a world trotter would ever have seen. Many accidents happen on the roads daily only because of the usage of sports helmets. The step that should have led to safety of motorbike drivers is creating havoc on the roads and the scribe is witness to many incidents.

Another interesting thing about motorbike drivers is that very few use back mirrors. There is no compulsion and the traffic police in its awareness campaigns never mentions anything about the usage of back mirrors, which if used could make for more comfortable and safe for bike riders.

It is extremely difficult for people driving slow to survive on the roads of Lahore. In recent years due to continuous development work in the city and change of traffic plans due to building of Lahore Metro and roads expansion the traffic congestion on all roads has increased while very few riders and drivers know about the speed limits on different roads in the city. The result is high speed driving on all roads that often leads to scary scenes.  

There is much stress on making roads signal free. That would definitely bring a positive change in the traffic management. There is however, one factor that is perhaps not under consideration. Most of the roads apart from the major ones are two way and often traffic jams can we witnessed. For example the Temple Road, Cecil Chaudhry Road, Turner Road, Fleming Road and many other roads will not face traffic jams if they are all declared one way. In London the traffic management is done in many cases by making roads one way. We can save millions in fuel losses as well as time of motorists and bike riders by making as many roads one way as possible. The traffic flow will continue in a better way.

Often it is witnessed that there are traffic jams when the signal lights are not working due to loadshedding of electricity or some other reason and when there is no traffic warden to guide the traffic. This scene that the scribe witnesses almost daily is that traffic gets stuck in the Ganga Ram Chowk. The number of vehicles is not much but since everyone wants to have his way and cars and bikes from all the four directions get stuck in the middle. And it takes quite a while before it gets cleared. That means 15 to 50 minutes.

Electricity loadshedding takes its toll on the drivers nerves as when roadside lights and street lights are not working it feels as if you are groping in the dark holding on to different signs that will tell you that you are going in the right direction. It gives you that you are not living in a metropolis but in some western shanty town of old wild west and there could be danger lurking there. And danger here too is quite there considering that many street crime incidents and road side armed robberies happen when there is power loadshedding. The scribe himself is a victim of one such armed robbery in which he lost his phone and wallet.

One serious crime that happens all the time and which everyone even traffic wardens at times condone is people driving or riding the wrong way and jumping traffic signals. People driving on the wrong side of the road is very dangerous but it happens on most roads in Lahore and I believe the same would be the case in other urban sprawls of Pakistan. Wrong way driving is avoided only on the Mall Road, Cantonment area and Main Boulevard Gulberg. Rest of the roads the scribe has personally seen people driving the wrong way. It happens at all times and in all hours. About jumping of traffic signals have you ever seen a traffic warden going after the rule breaker or informing on his wireless communication set about the incident so that he/she may be caught at the next signal.

One other noticeable thing that strikes the citizens is the law enforcers themselves breaking the rules. At times three or four policemen can be seen going on one bike while according to law only pillion riding is allowed. At times they are seen driving around without any number plates, without helmets and driving on the wrong side of the road. There is need to start an awareness campaign within the police department and especially among the traffic wardens because when people see them breaking the rules they too are encouraged to do the same.