Traffic police launch drive against over-speeding
By By our correspondent

Traffic police have been instructed to impose section 279 on the drivers for over-speeding with effect from April 15. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Traffic), Karachi, Wajid Ali Khan Durrani issued this instruction while taking notice of 29 fatal accidents that took place in one month alone.

“This would be a special drive to control speed violations,” he said. However, he maintained that initially two vehicles with a device to check speed violations would be deployed at Mai Kolachi and Sunset Boulevard and later at Korangi Road where accidents occur more frequently due to over speeding.

Durrani was talking to an open forum on Wednesday at the office of Urban Resource Centre, an NGO that holds discussions on civic issues. He briefed the forum regarding the solutions he had proposed to higher authorities and the progress made so far in this regard. He said that he was working to induct 2,000 officers, passed from public service commission. He also proposed increasing salaries of traffic personnel and giving them some incentives that might help minimize corruption and yield good results.

He emphasized on the provision of Mass Transit System, saying, flyovers and underpasses would not solve the problem since a big city like Karachi where both population and vehicle growth was always on the rise should have proper Mass Transit System be it by means of buses or trains. He also stressed the need for deploying latest equipment and traffic control devices without which it would be difficult for his men to work efficiently.

Responding to a question regarding the recruitment of women traffic wardens, he said: “In the present situation where people often quarrel with policemen and even beat them, it won’t be a good idea to bring women”. Giving an example, he said there were cases when traffic sergeants were shot or hit with speeding vehicles while performing their duties. “This attitude of public doesn’t favour women recruitment. We can do it later once the new force is inducted and situation changes, for which we have been working,” he added.

Earlier, Durrani gave a detailed presentation on traffic and transport problems, hindrances on the part of other stakeholders and the current capability of the department.

“In 2002, some 84 vehicles per day were added to traffic and that ratio has now reached 544 vehicles a day,” he informed, adding: “1.8mn vehicles are plying in the city while there are only 1,200 to 1,300 policemen to control and regulate traffic.”

He further said that only 20,000 buses were plying in Karachi which happens to be the seventh biggest city of the world in terms of population.