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.

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

  1. Babbi says:

    We all writing here are residents of big cities and things like these seem to us as nuisance.

    But can anybody advise what could be the otherway round to move this haystack. If you load all the hay in a normal sized truck say a 20ft container, you can very well imagine how many containers a poor farmer would use??

    Pakistan is an agricultural country and therefore, we should have some rules based on these kind of problems. We always criticise Traffic Police but you must bear in mind that the Traffic Police Sepoys hail from the same rural areas and they know how important is to move the crop economically so they let go thinking that there is no other option.

    If anybody has any other option to move such large volumes of haystack (which obviously doesnt weigh too much) so pls come up with an idea.

  2. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Adil: This is a failure. Failure of the administration to provide adequate means of transportation of goods from ‘farm to the market’ and failure of the public to obey traffic safety rules. We are a nation that would come into the streets for gun battles with fellow citizens but will not lift a finger to protest against every day ‘failures’. Misplaced priorities.

  3. tina says:

    I vote for dangerous and impressive both; I think the canvas must be filled with something very light–wheat straw maybe? It almost looks like a big balloon. Those guys on top will have a good view until they tumble off!

    What can you do, the person, probably farmer, has limited possibilities and he must move his load. So he’s doing it “any which way he can” :)

  4. Roshan says:

    Its medieval loading technique which is less impressive and more dangerous. The problem aggravates in sugarcane harvest season as abnormally loaded vehicles not only struck the traffic but also cause fatal accidents. Lot of lives have been lost in our country as the loaded tractor trolleys do not have the tail lights and other vehicles ram into it at night.
    Unfortunately, highway traffic police hardly deals with this issue seriously.

  5. Eidee Man says:

    I am impressed at the way these guys can ignore the obvious danger to their own safety and the safety of others.

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