Picture of the Day: Are You Impressed, Or Disturbed?

Posted on May 17, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Law & Justice, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

We at ATP have always had a fascination for peculiarly ‘Pakistani’ vehicles on Pakistani roads (here, here, here and here). And this picture is as ‘peculiar’ to Pakistan as it gets.

So, are you impressed by the fact that someone could (a) pack such a huge load and (b) drive this vehicle long distances? Or, are you depressed that someone would be ‘allowed’ to do so despite the obvious safety issues that this would raise?

While we have written about such over-loaded vehicles before, and while a part of me certainly says, ‘Wow’, this is no joking matter at all. The accompanying story in Dawn (April 22, 2007) about this and other ways in whcih traffic rules are disregarded is worth reading for exactly this reason.

GUJAR KHAN, April 21: The National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) have failed to check traffic violations on the G.T. Road, a survey by this correspondent showed. The oversized loading of iron bars, chaff and other materials on trucks and tractor trolleys; taking turns without proper use of indicators, faulty head and back lights, faulty brake lights, overloading on public vehicles, use of high beams as well as wrong side overtaking are the common violations on the highway.

It was observed that at some points the speed reading cameras were being used but the drivers very well knew these points and reduce the speed while approaching the pickets and soon after they again resort to speeding. According to the commuters, speed checking was merely an exercise to collect fine for the contractors who have become stakeholders of the force.

They said regular patrolling, observation of violations and chasing the carelessly-driven vehicles seemed least concern of the force. The officials sitting in airconditioned cars and vans seldom bothered to go away from the fine collection vans, they added. The road users pointed out that in a beat area the presence of the NHMP was on one side of the dual carriageway, which let the violators on the other side of the road go unchecked.

Furthermore, in the urban areas of Gujar Khan, Sohawa and Jhelum, there are some U-turns designed without proper survey which have become notorious for fatal accidents. The traffic rule violations at these U-turns also go unnoticed. The road users complained that the helpline numbers at the camp offices of NHMP remained under the official use and the callers in distress failed to connect it on time. They urged the ministry of communication to improve the working of the National Highways and Motorway Police in order to ensure road safety between Rawalpindi and Lahore.

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15 responses to “Picture of the Day: Are You Impressed, Or Disturbed?”

  1. mozang bijjli says:

    To be honest these trucks with their virtual volume exceeding all human specualtion were a nightmare for me when i was there in pakistan, I used to drive to an office in the outskirts of lahore on ferozpur road, the road is narrow, unkempt and has all virtues of lawlessness. Usally a long train of traffic was choked by this monster truck, it moved ahead with the proud banner of hay flying high while rest of the traffic was forced to trail behind at a crawling speed.
    Much that i wished but i have never seen these trucks speeding on the road i suspect they enjoy blocking traffic in their wake.

    Due to its volume it was impossible to overtake and accident occured for those daring to do so, resulting in hours long traffic jam, imagine leaving office at 9 or 10 after 12/13 hours of labour and finding yourself at the mercy of traffic jam, knwoing well that there is no alternate route to lahore but this choked highway.
    One thing I dearly wish to improve in pakistan is its traafic system.

  2. Daktar says:

    Must say, I am impressed.

    Putting all that cotton (I think) in there is a great engineering achievement. And then putting it on the vehicle. And then driving it.

    Must be a Guiness world record in it somewhere!

  3. Fareed says:

    I agree these are a hazard for everyone and should be regulated.

  4. Sharuk says:

    In Pakistan, we have all kind of laws that could make us a civilized country but the problem is no body obeys them. If people get in trouble with cops, they always try to bribe them(pretty simple if you have easy money). We deal with law our own way and think that we are innocent even we break them.
    I hope somebody will tell me that I’m so wrong but until then … uugh!

  5. Moeen Bhatti says:

    I’m impressed. Not by the load, but by the people sitting on top of that.HAHAHA

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