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Karachi’s motorcyclists haunted by road accidents


The bustling streets of the megacity appear to have turned the most perilous for motorcyclists; resulting in over 720 fatal accidents in the course of the last five years.
The number accounts for more than 65 per cent of total reported deaths from accidents within the city’s limits, other than 517 bikers who had been injured in traffic collisions during the same period.
According to data compiled by the office of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Traffic Karachi, motorcyclists have remained top victims of road accidents during the year 2021. The number of casualties for two-wheel riders also topped pedestrians; making them the most endangered category of commuters on the metropolitan streets. Records reveal that some 95 motor cyclists to have been killed this year, until mid-September. Whereas, the total number of deaths was counted to be around 145, other than 63 motorcyclists who were injured during the current year.
Lack of implementation of traffic rules, shortage of public transport and dilapidated highways are said to be the major reasons behind increasing traffic accidents in the city. Sources allege that traffic police deployed in the city have only focused on generating revenue through imposing fines on motor cyclists for different reasons, while caring little about the commuters’ life and safety.
Dispelling the notion, Karachi’s Superintendent of Police Tahir Noorani said that there is are separate police forces dedicated to regulating vehicular traffic and enforcement of traffic rules and both do their own job.
According to Noorani, there are some 45 types of traffic violations mentioned in traffic rules committed by at least 90 per cent of people in the city. “However, motorcyclists are observed to be among the most callous drivers in the city and usually involved in the most number of traffic violations,” the superintendent remarked, while offering an explanation for the increased accidents.
Read More: Six perish in fatal road accidents in Dijkot
In contrast to Noorani’s claims, a traffic police officer deployed near Jinnah Hospital, however admitted that their focus remains on generating money through imposing fines. “We are compelled to impose more and more fines every day by our higher officers,” he alleged, displaying a show-cause notice issued to him for not meeting target fines.
For the last many years, the growing onslaught of traffic has made Karachi’s busiest highways and those frequented by heavy vehicles, the most unsafe for commuters. This is pegged on the city’s acute lack of an efficient public transport system, which is in turn resulting an uncontrolled growth of motorcycles- the most affordable form of private transport- on city roads.
Hundreds of thousands new motorcycles make it to Karachi’s streets every year. Per official records, In 2018 alone, Sindh’s Excise and Taxation Department registered as many 545,015 motor cycles in Karachi. In addition to which, data provided by the department to Sindh Assembly reveals that some 535,801 motor bikes were registered in 2017 and 439,672 during 2016 in the city.
“The traffic police are least bothered to manage and control vehicular traffic,” claimed Zulfiqar Ali a resident of Gulshan-e-Moazam. His son, Adeel Ahmed met a fetal a road accident few years ago, on the National Highway. A trawler had hit Adeel while the youth was making his way to Saddar on his motorbike. Per Zulfiqar, the deceased was his eldest son who had the terrible fate of passing away only a week before his scheduled marriage.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2021.

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