Death toll rises by one more..

The following is a first hand account of how Bus drivers endanger the lives of people in our city. The author lays out his case of why bus drivers are negligent in the first place, and what should be done to remedied the situtation. Its always heartbreaking to read and hear such stories but can we actually do anything about it? Can we stand up to the transport mafia around us? Or just treat it as a necessary evil?

Assalam o alaikum The death toll in Karachi rises by one more, thanks to our system of public transport. A speeding Mehran coach killed the brother of my friend, whose valima was planned for yesterday, i.e. Monday, January 15. He was riding his bike when the speeding killer hit him from the back and he went sliding down, with his head hitting a pole. His head was split open. The bus was totally out of control, and was stopped after it hit a pole itself.

(Complete letter after the jump)

The unlicensed culprit jumped out of the moving bus and tried to run away. He is in police custody at the moment. The driver had previously struck some car before killing the poor soul, and trying to escape. The victim got married on Friday, and his valima was planned for yesterday, i.e. Monday. He was going to the cook, who was supposed to prepare food for the occasion, but could not return. The poor widow could not complete three days of her happily married phase of life.

The major reason behind such accidents is only one. The drivers are issued tokens which bound them, to get to a certain spot in a certain time. On the next spot they are issued another token for the later spot. I just dont understand why the hell they are allowed to stand for more then a minute at a certain bus stop. They take rest there, smoke, urinate, some of them pray especially at dusk, which is off course acceptable. Apart from praying or urinating, they should not be allowed to stay at the bus stop for anything other then picking and dropping the passengers. As soon as they see there rival driving the bus of the same route in their mirror they drive away like hooligans, which presents a scene of buses participating in a race in held in heavy traffic. Otherwise, they are comfortable wasting time at the bus stops for collecting passengers, no matter the passengers already boarding the bus screaming on him, begging him to drive while they continue to get late.

I request the government and the transport authorities to abolish the present system of tokens, and do not allow the bus drivers to rest or waste time in other activities, at the bus stop in midst of their routes. No matter they appear to be humans (which they are actually not), they should shorten their bus routes, rather then take drugs in order to do their drive all the way. We have had enough deaths through these accidents, please not anymore. Unfortunately i drove the groom’s car on his wedding night

Ali Ahmed

16 Comments so far

  1. Lies (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

    Sad as I am to say this, and contrary to every instinct in my body, its time to nationalize the public transport system. Its a mess and it isn’t going to sort itself out until uneducated monkeys are in charge. The cabal needs to be broken.

  2. Concerned (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

    I am sorry to hear about what happened, but i am sorry to say, you cant blame any one except ur self.

    Someone I know was so badly hit that they had to spend 6 months in AKU getting plastic surgery. The driver fled from the scene, no one knows who did it. Now everytime a bad bus driver does anything to endager me or my car, I just want to stop my car in front of them and beat the crap out of them, but my family doesnt let me saying “inn ke moo kaun lage”. Imagine if everyone takes revenge for every small scratch these bus drivers cause we maybe able to save lives.

    If you go to Punjab ull actually see normal people beating up bus drivers just for cutting them off. Get the F*** up people and take responsibility for ur city.

  3. Sufi (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 2:58 am

    I am not sure if it was entirely the drivers fault. If its a typical hit & run accident where usually the drivers are high, I tell you we should hang these motherf***ers.

  4. Raheel (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 6:08 am

    Bloody corrupted system and sick minds.

  5. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    People should caught these bastards on the spot and chop-off their instruments and leave them alive!

    Mansoor, I am so sorry to hear that man. Words can’t express grieves of people.

  6. ash (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    mansoor, my sincere condolences.
    Traffic is ridiculous here and this is way more imp. than all those jams people keep writing about.
    Educating drivers, urine testing and holding them accountable is whats needed.
    I dont agree with the beating /cutting off things clearly two wrongs dont make a right.

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    people: the letter was not from me, but rather from Mr. Ali Ahmed.. whose best friends’ elder brother was the victim…

  8. JayJay (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    Although it might have been the bus driver’s fault entirely, but a helmet [not limbs though] might have saved the deceased’s life. It is not clear if the rider was wearing a helmet or not but I am assuming he was not, otherwise it would have been mentioned in the letter/email.

    I also think vigilante-ism or mob mentality will not solve the problem – it will exacerbate it. It will take the city back to Bushra Siddiqui [was that the name of the poor girl] episode of 1986, which plunged the city into violence which led to a decade long civil and ethnic strife. Probably the correct course of action should be to put pressure on the city government through civilized means: letters to local councilors, nazims, police administration, letters to local newspapers, formulation of citizens action groups, and importantly resort to Gandhi-giri to educate drivers on the consequences of rash driving. Readers surely will have more intelligent and effective suggestions but violence in not the answer. Violence begets violence.

  9. JayJay (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    *Although it might have been the bus driver’s fault entirely, but a helmet might have saved the deceased’s life [not limbs though].*

  10. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

    Jayjay, her name was Bushra Zaidi.

  11. Ali Mohsin (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

    Extremely sad…….
    and there seems to be noway out of this mess.

    Transport system is tightly bounded in the hands of a mafia…belonging to no other place but our northern province bordering Afghanistan……..(excuse if there is an element of racism…but can’t help it atleast in this case)…They have ruined the city and killed numerous kids, men and ladies…..wish Nazim MK can do atleast a little to tame these otherwise WILD BEASTS!

  12. Concerned (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    Jay Jay,

    big words dude, but it is really hard to stick to them if someone you know gets hurt.

    I assure you violence gets immediate action. what Pakistan has needed for a long time is a revolution. Call me a racist too but I am sick and tired of these Afghans running are public transport system.

  13. ash (unregistered) on January 25th, 2007 @ 2:58 am

    yeah thats pretty racist man. What makes you think afghani’s dont read this blog.

  14. Concerned (unregistered) on January 25th, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

    They are more then welcome to read and then they are more then welcome to go home. Afghans are a very big part of whats wrong in khi, the drug culture and the famous Klashankov were introduced by them.

    You guys must have been to Al Asif, and you must know what goes on there and that police are actually terrified of going in that area.

    So yeah I am a racist, because all of this hurts my city.

  15. Concerned (unregistered) on January 25th, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

    Why was my comment held for review? just bec i used the R word?

  16. Asif Raza (unregistered) on January 28th, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

    Ok well , now not everything should be blamed over to the bus drivers , what about the bike riders who drive their bikes like tom cruise or thinking themselves as dhoom riders ??

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