Driver Education Drive- Lesson 8: Let the others pass first

One thing that the drivers need to learn more than anything in Karachi is courtesy. If not because its ethical and civilized and all that, then to help themselves.

Here’s why:

The traffic at a round about or a non functioning signal is blocked and there isn’t a traffic policeman in sight. The four way bottleneck has resulted in chaos and every car is just trying to push through to make its own way out. While a few lucky vehicles are successful in zigzagging their way out of the mess, the traffic keeps building at the rear so that what probably started as one man’s impatience has snowballed into a major problem for a few hundred (and that is not an exaggeration).

That’s one way of going about of it but lots of Karachi drivers consider it the only way.

A more courteous alternative for the drivers would be to wait at an intersection and let the stream of traffic coming from one direction to exhaust (which it eventually will in a few minutes) before he/she goes ahead.

Sadly, what that requires is a collective change in attitudes which can only come about if Driver Education Drives are launched at a larger scale. Till the authorities that be realize that, we can only hope that individuals upholding some basic values set an example for others around them. Also, all new drivers who complain about others not following traffic rules can help by not joining the bandwagon but sticking to rules such as lane discipline, signaling etc so that the new generation of drivers can instill some sense of discipline among the experienced ones.

Till then, give way. It will only result in a clearer way for you and those behind you.

13 Comments so far

  1. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    SID – let me be the possible 1st one to comment on it.

    The basic problem is – Motorbikes, Rickshaws, Mini Buses & Animal carts. NONE of them are able to READ / understand or write language you and i speak. They speak and understand the language of DANDA, and that too with nails on it shoved up their sorry bums.

    whenever i come back from driving abroad, for few days i drive very civilised way, then it becomes a problem for me managing right of way and right of being polite on Raod, and i blend myself to stay alive and stay safe.

    read this –

    many of you may say that why i cross refer to UAE, – it is because I envy that TUCHAL MOFU place which is thriving prosperous due to EXPATS – 50% of the public transport drivers are Pakistanis the same as you and me and yet they have very low road accidents death in road ratio –

    why can’t WE devise and implement a system which ensure civilised driving, road mannerism and safety for drivers and others on road. for every class of people.

    The bikes are available at Rs. 1500 down payment and everyday an average of 175 bikes are coming on Karachi roads, where as an average of only 35 driving licences are legitimately issued to adult male & females in Karachi.

    I know for sure many of us tend to get irritated and get ourselves stuck in road rage but thats not because of our attitude, thats because people on your right left behind and ahead compel., you to become part of nuisance.

  2. Kads (unregistered) on November 27th, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

    Good post Sid.
    But i must point out that many folks in pak are not used to getting courtesy. I dont often drive in pak (and dont have good experiances when i do so i tend to avoid it). Once in karachi, i got abused at by the other driver i had given way too. He couldn’t handle courtesy. So go figure :)

  3. br0ke (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 12:20 am

    traffic in karachi is divine wind compared to lahore……

  4. ali (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 2:53 am

    If it was up to me I’d simply ban the tongas and smoke-belching unkempt minibuses. And I’d allow only a certain number of rickshaws in the city, all of them CNG-run; if the drivers have any problem, whoop their asses and have them go find a job somewhere else (I really think there are rather too many rickshaws in the city). And KHI really needs car fitness centers (like where they certify cars for emissions and stuff). And of course ban all non-licensed mechanics. Hard it is, but the fruit of labor is sweet.

  5. Ali Khan (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    Can some one please recommend me some top class dentist,optiician and frame shop in Khi. I know Dr. Awab already. Beside him please.

  6. Zainub (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    It is not only about courtesy Sid, it is about rules. People coming from the right have the ‘right of way’ in a four way intersection, I couldn’t answer some of these “who has the right of way” questions in my first drivers license test and they flunk me, after that I spend a week reading through their book (decently sized) and passed my test a week later. Now I can’t forget these rules even if I want to, but of course it gets kind of hard at times to put them into practice when you seem to be the only driver in an intersection who is aware of these rules!

    Solution: Make the licensing procedure more strict, and finish away with the ‘I’ll bribe you twice the license fee, please give me a license without a test’ behind-the-scenes procedure. If everyone went through tests (and officially at least they’re suppose to be pretty rigorous and comprehensive!), drivers will at least aware of these laws. May be in time we can inculcate a sense of respect for rules in our countrymen and women and then they can even start implementing on them too, but in the meanwhile, educating people about these laws should be the first priority.

  7. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

    Zainub, there is no ‘right of way’ at a four-way intersection as you have stated. It is only at roundabouts, that you observe a ‘right of way’ for all those coming from your right side.

    At any itersection, you wait, as Sid says, for a break in the traffic before joining the flow, or crossing vertically.

    And, since, I too am guilty of breaking traffic law numerous times, so I won’t comment on the topic.

  8. Kads (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 8:41 pm


    Are you sure you are not the guy who abused me in karachi?? :)
    Anyways, This isnt supposed to be a driving lesson class but just for the record, zainub is correct – atleast for driving in the US. (However, in pakistan, i think the right of way belongs to the one on the left since folks drive on the opposite side)

    The Right of Way –

    At intersections not controlled by signs or signals, or where two or more drivers stop at STOP signs at the same time and they are at right angles to one another, the driver on the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right. ยง1140(b)

  9. Balma (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

    *……where two or more drivers stop at STOP signs at the same time …..

    Haaaai’n…what is a stop sign?
    Do we have such things in Karachi?

  10. Kads (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 9:13 pm


    Read it again. The rule covers intersections without signs too.
    ” At intersections NOT controlled by SIGNS signals, OR where two or more drivers stop at STOP signs at the same time…”

    Im surprised people dont know about this basic rule!! No wonder traffic is a mess.

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 12:07 am

    KADS :) when was last you took out car on road in Karachi ? –

    @Balmay u on tricycle is not allowed outside home so you do not know a stop sign. :) stay inside traffic is rough outside on road.

  12. Balma (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    I try not to moonh-lug with old people like you, buzurg shamsi.

  13. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    @BALMA feeder hatao tou munh ko kuch lagay :) Meiji Baby

    Jal Gaya Burnol :)

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