Stay clear of the traffic police

This is my advice to all of you residing in the city of Karachi for the next couple of days. Because its that time of year again, when they need to fill out their chalan books before the years closing.

This morning, while driving to work, i saw police-walas stopping atleast 5 different vehicles for almost trivial charges (e.g. changing lane without giving indicators etc) on shahrah-e-faisal. Ever since i’ve became a victim to this zelousness of “Karachis Finest(?)” i’ve been noticing a pattern as to when it occurs. To date, i’ve identified about three times of the year when they become ‘efficient’, one being just before the financial years closing (June 30th), then New Years (December 30th) and lastly near Eid-ul-Fitr (this when most ppl get off just paying Eidi rather than their challans).

Do you have any good stories about being ‘challaned’ by our traffic cops? I’ll share mine later in the comments section.

12 Comments so far

  1. S (unregistered) on June 26th, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

    I disagree with the observation, i think those who cross lanes without indicating SHOULD be given a ticket. I say increase the fine even to teach them a lesson! If we cannot have a digital tracking system to see what previous offences were, they should introduce a ‘passport’ like system where the officer stamps your lisence with violation. The way we have deviated from normal social driving is insane! These same people drive like old grannies when in Europe or US where penalties are stricter.

  2. Mohd (unregistered) on June 26th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    @ S…I couldnt agree with you more. Its extremely dangerous when changing lanes and not indicating. I also agree with you idea of a points or a passport system. In toronto where i live on and off, its based on a pointsw system which is linked to how much insurance you pay. Maybe if something similar were to be proposed in Pak, people would drive better.

  3. Kashif (unregistered) on June 26th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

    While I agree that driver changing lanes, overtaking etc should give indication, this fact also stands corrected that the tullas are filling up their challan books.

  4. sooban (unregistered) on June 26th, 2006 @ 11:15 pm

    @ mansoor.
    be happy they are doing it three times a yr , if they were doing it all yr round.

    though that would be a good thing if they actually caught ppl doing wrong and challanofy them, rather than jus exhort money. would brng order to roads

  5. sheysrebellion (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 3:42 am

    if they did it all year round, then maybe driving might not be as insane as it is in karachi.

  6. Zain (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 9:42 am

    I am all for these rules :) I was talking to a senior traffic police officer and he was telling me that its these corrupt officers who can’t control the traffic and those who voilate the rules. He was giving me examples of the pathan’s who go to Dubai and the way they drive there, is perfect so why can’t they drive properly here in their own country.

    The police officer now is suspended as he was too strict.. They told him to be flexible.. :)

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 10:52 am

    S, Mohd, and Kashif: If this offence was ticketed as normal, there wouldnt be much of a problem.. the fact that it happens when they’re ‘active’ is the prob :S As for the digital system, you never know… Traffic cops in Isb are starting a lot of new initiatives which just might spill over to karachi pretty soon, such as electronic tagging of cars, automatic camera-based challaning etc.

    sooban: thankgod its not all year round :D i’d be putting up my whole years pay as challans if they were. LoL!

    zain: poor guy.. this happens to our police dept a lot sadly. :( damn politicians and their powers to transfer ppl in the police.

  8. Zag (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    Actually you don’t even have to go to Dubai to see the difference. Just go drive on the highways and you’ll notice the same people who were overspeeding and changing lanes without indications are driving like sane ppl. This is because the highway police department is much more active in chalaning throughout the year and are much more vigilant. Hopefully they’ll stay this way and the innercity traffic police will catch this bug, rather than happening the other way around.

  9. Turab (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

    bring on the rules and PUNISH THE GUILTY!!

    we are getting away with too much!!

    for example, how many people give taxes over here every year??

  10. mansoor (unregistered) on June 27th, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

    zag: yes! the highway police is pretty vigilant and its a good thing too. im not too sure about the stats, but im guessing the number of accidents have reduced since they came into effect! In islamabad, highway police has pretty much replaced the traffic police department too.. lets hope karachi gets something like them too. Also, did you know.. highway police has a lot of personnel on deputation from the Armed Forces? Funny how the military manages to do everything ‘right’ LoL!

    turab: taxes..? just ask who pays their full electricity bills! there’s this lane in defence where there are all 2000 yard bunglows with more than 5 AC’s each.. (about 10 houses i believe) and the largest bill any of them gets (to my knowledge) is somewhere in the range of Rs. 500 :S Keep in mind, these are part of the elite of our country :(

  11. Umer Zaman (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    Im still paying the full bill.. average Rs. 10000.00 a month, though i live alone.. =)

    About the traffic, we are all the same..
    even in US, they have strict rules for everything but trust me whenever whoever can get away with something he would… everyone loves to drive fast at some day/moment and cross a red light or two maybe at the midnite hour.. One has to create some terror in ppl’s mind about traffic police.. (we dont care if we’ll hurt ourselves in a car accident, but we definately dont wanna be pulled over in the middle of the traffic and be humiliated by a cop)

    As far as traffic police in islamabad is concerned, they have named it MODEL POLICE FOR PAKISTAN.. they sure are doing a wonderful job
    most of the ppl they have are well educated, (surprisingly they dont have a huge police trademark belly either) i’ve been ticketed myself so i met em and had a discussion with em about the whole procedure.. i think its a good thing they are doing..

    How many ppl do we hear about every year who died in a car accident, my own brother 18 years old died two years ago.. a car came from a small street and hit him on the main road.. can we do anything about it ?? Apparently he aint coming back but we can definately make it better for the ones who are still alive

    btw: i am not any level saying you drive slow..
    just try to observe the rules

  12. mansoor (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

    Im so sorry to hear about your brother Umer. May his soul rest in peace.

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