KARACHI: The ‘helmet-compulsory’ campaign, that was to be kicked off by the Karachi traffic police from June 1, has been postponed by eight days in view of the problems being faced by citizens in the acquisition of the safety gear.
Speaking to Express News, Traffic DIG Amir Ahmed Shaikh confirmed the extension in the deadline. He added that last year, 57 people died in traffic accidents. “The drive is purely to safeguard the lives of the public,” he assured. “The traffic police will not derive any benefit from it.”
Shaikh reasoned that for a population of 25 million, only 3,000 traffic police personnel were very insufficient. In order to make the traffic flow better, he advised to install cameras on 20 important signals of the city and also recommended the formation of a traffic management board.
On the other hand, the city’s prime location for helmet vendors, Akbar Road in Saddar, has witnessed panic buying for helmets since Wednesday, due to which the prices of helmets have seen a major hike. According to the helmet vendors, if the panic buying continues, they will soon run short of the merchandise.
Meanwhile, the Karachi police chief, AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo, has suggested the relevant authorities to install trackers in all motorcycles. The registration authority will have to assist in this regard.
According to the Karachi police spokesperson, Atiq Shaikh, the excise and motor vehicle department has already been approached in this regard. “Initially, we want it to be approved for the new motorcycles being purchased in the market,” he said, adding that they will later make it compulsory for old motorcycles too.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2015.