Safety First

2ble.gifTo see two people on a motorcycle, both wearing a helmet is a bit rare in Karachi. You might sometimes spot military police jawans riding a motorcycle together with their helmets on but rarely does this happen with the average citizen. In this incident, the guy sitting at the back is either sufficiently safely conscious or may be he is a biker too who is taking a lift and happened to have a helmet anyway and wore it.

Motorcycle safety is a real issue. I am witness to two separate terrible incidents at my work place both involving technicians meeting an accidents while driving a motorcycle, sustaining head injuries. One of them died, the other one was permanently disabled.

Security requirements for motorcyclist has always been a problem to implement. Apart from lone motorcyclists refusing to wear a safely helmet for a number of reasons – laziness, considering security a burden and helmet theft itself, safely helmet requirement drives have often met failure because some people insist on a waiver due to their wearing of turbans that are treated as religious symbol.

Another problem that appears to be without a solution is wearing of a helmet by ladies. It is almost funny to see the male motorbike driver securely wearing a helmet while the lady companion at the back prone to any possible head injuries. Would an accident involving a motorbike would be selective in causing head injuries to the driver only?

14 Comments so far

  1. Sameer (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 4:24 am

    I have a theory: People who wear helmets know someone or have been in a serious bike accident. The way Karachiites are, it’s the only conlusion I’ve come up with.


  2. Zee (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 5:23 am

    It has nothing to do with being a Karachiite. I guess it has everything to do with being a Pakistani Biker.


  3. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 9:22 am

    @sameer & @zee,

    Why don’t you people come out of your inferiority complex. ALL over the world, safety measures have to be ENFORCED by the legal system so that people don’t lose their lives just due to laziness.

    There was a big legal battle in the USA in mid-20th century in which car-makers were forced to install seatbelts in their cars.

    It’s natural behaviour. If you’re left astray, you’ll kill yourself. (That’s why you are made to obey the sanctions your parents, family and legal system puts on you since you’re 0-days old).

    Plz come out of your inferiority complex. Its true that Pakistan is lacking, but other countries are also no better.

    On the separate note, I agree, to-date I have been unable to make women wear the seatbelt in my car. The helmet for a pillion rider is a thought so far-stretched. (Maybe the guy thinks: If this one goes, only then I can marry another time LOL).


  4. Sameer (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    You’re kidding me? I’m from Canada, and if you don’t wear a seat belt, you get a ticket. It’s the 21st century, you’re talking about manufacturing cars with seat belts? Every car has seat belts.

    It’s not the inferiority complex, it’s the truth. Pakistanis don’t care about safety as much as westerners. It may also have to do with the maximum speed on many roads being only 50KM/h (because of traffic etc).

    And this is natural selection at it’s best. The stupid die out, the smart keep going.


  5. BoZz (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    All this concern for safety stems from firstly Education and secondly Awareness.

    By the way, wearing the helmet with the harness straps open or loosely strung together is almost as useless as not wearing one.


  6. Zee (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

    @Mufakkir: No, I am not suffering from any inferiority complex. I am suffering with reality! Weather you like it or not, accept it or not, we Pakistanies do not really care about safety. We’d rather DIE than wearing a helmet or seatbelt and being called a Phatto. It’s something that we have here in Pakistan because of lack of education! In a country, where majority of the people are educated, the uneducated start doing what educated ones do. In Pakistan, we have more uncivilized, uneducated people and so what they do becomes a norm. A norm for both educated and uneducated people.

    If you want to judge ANY nation’s behavior, you can easily do so by checking their traffic. Traffic system of any country, any where reflects the basic behavior of any country. If you look at our traffic, it’s simple HOSH, Jangli and Janwar style… thus, a pure reflection of the MAJORITY of the nation itself.


  7. Sameer (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

    And as Junaid Jamshed put it:

    Toilets, Tourism & Traffic (I think)…

    Toilets- do people leave them clean for the next person to come? Are they kind people?

    Tourism- Do people from the outside wan to come visit us?

    I think we pretty much fail at everything.

    And this traffic situation has only gotten worse. I know five years ago, people didn’t go around breaking so many red lights.


  8. Comment-Watchdog (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

    Irrelevant comment by SAMEER

    MODERATORS!! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU

    KMB policy is being violated


  9. Sameer (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

    Go away you troll.


  10. HASSAN' (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    well some mobile snatchers also use to wear halmets (both guys)


  11. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

    @Sameer,

    Very few people in Canada would wear seatbelts if there was no fine on not wearing it. The same as I said, safety measures have to be ENFORCED so people don’t kill themselves.

    @Zee,

    I’m a transportation student myself, and I know there’s no single country where people don’t curse their traffic. Although it isn’t something to be particularly proud of, Karachi’s traffic is only as bad as you’d like to think of it. People in Paris, Los Angeles and Tehran are equally ‘bezaar’ of their traffic too.

    Again, nobody anywhere cares about safety. In the end, you have to enforce it through regulations so people don’t put themselves in danger just for the sake of thrill or for laziness.


  12. Sameer (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 10:28 am

    @Mufakkir

    Unfortunately, thats not completely true (in North America anyways). Look at the example of Florida, I found out that you don’t have to wear seat belts there (or there’s no fine for not wearing one), and approximately 80+% of people wear them (source: http://www.fhp.state.fl.us/misc/News/Related/2007/FHPnews020707j.htm)

    So it’s got a lot to do with education as well.


  13. Burhan (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Well, maybe these guys are Mobile snatchers.
    I have been told by a friend whose cellphone was snatched that both guys were wearing helmets to stop being recognized. :)

    Congratulations! You have just shot a photo of the ‘Most Wanted Criminals’ by the city police.


  14. Ursula (unregistered) on October 31st, 2007 @ 4:51 am

    In California, it is the law to wear a seatbelt. The driver is actually responsible for everyone in the car under 18, so could get a ticket if the teenager didn’t fasten the belt.

    That being said, there is still a huge media campaign to remind people to wear their seatbelts. It is also common to read in the paper that “Officers believe the passenger would have survived if he had worn his seatbelt.”

    It’s a matter of constant reminders and fines and graphic stories. And yet there are those who still fail to wear a seatbelt.

    **On the women not wearing helmets thing: most women may not wear a helmet because it will mess up their hairdo–can you imagine what falling off the bike and hitting their heads would do to a hairdo? It won’t matter anymore. Just a thought.



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