Lahore’s Traffic Jams Are Soon Going To Be A Thing of The Past

Traffic jams a regular thing in major cities like Lahore and Karachi. The situation was made worse in Lahore recently due to the construction of the Yellow Train’s track. Several roads became unusable which prompted people to use alternate routes and traffic jams became worse.

The government has made efforts to fix this issue by constructing signal free corridors, overhead bridges and underpasses but the problem persisted.

The traffic management system of Lahore is the core of the problem which needs to improved.

Safe Cities Authority To The Rescue

Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA), a department that was established recently, is working on an integrated traffic management system for Lahore. It has conducted a survey in the city in order to know which solutions would work best to solve this issue and what should be added or removed from the system to make it better.

PSCA will be collaborating with Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (TEPA) to put up signboards in various areas in Lahore with safety information on them.

Some of the City’s Traffic Police officials were also sent to Dubai for training for the new traffic systems that are going to established in the city.

New Traffic Light Poles

Currently there are varying types of traffic lights in Lahore. Some of them are automated with timers while others are operated manually. All of the traffic lights will be automated by the PSCA and the lights will be replaced with ones that follow the international standard. They will be of a uniform size that can be seen clearly from a distance.

LED lights will be used with stronger poles as well.

The new traffic light poles will have special pedestrian buttons on them. This will encourage the people to use this facility while crossing the road through a zebra crossing. The buttons probably change the signal on the pole to allow people to cross the road with no vehicles coming in.

Motorcycle Lanes

Currently a lot of major cities do not have roads with separate lanes for motorcycles. This causes problems with motorcyclists often cutting lanes and making the rest of the traffic vehicles compensate for them. This in turn increases the risk of accidents as well.

PSCA will be providing separate lanes for motorcycles as well in the new traffic management system. How exactly they will accomplish this wasn’t mentioned.

Number Plate Recognizing Cameras

PSCA is going to put up more than 10,000 cameras in various locations in the city. These cameras are called Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras and monitor the traffic to detect any violations.

The cameras can detect any sort of traffic violation whether it is switching lanes inappropriately, running through a red light, motorcyclists not wearing a helmet or drivers not drivers not fastening their seat belts.

The cameras can watch up to two lanes at a time and detect three traffic violations at any given time. They will take a photograph of the violator and generate an alarm in the area where its installed.

Two of these cameras, installed on Lahore High Court Chowk have detected 17,000 violations in just 40 days.

The Flaw in This Solution

As these cameras detect violations based on number plates, they can be avoided easily. If your car does not have a number plate registered with the Excise and Taxation department, you can avoid being detected.

PSCA will start a campaign on standardizing the number plates according to Excise and Taxation Department standards. If a plate does not meet these standards, it will be destroyed.

Punjab Government has already passed a bill for this. Anyone which uses a non-standard number plate will be imprisoned for 5 years according to this bill.

PSCA has requested the Excise and Taxation department to clear its backlog of un-registered number plates as soon as possible.

The E-Challan System

Here is where the E-Challan system comes into place. Upon detecting a violation, the ticket is sent to the Excise department where information about the owner of the number plate is checked. The ticket is then sent to the home address of the violator along with other information about their violation.

The cameras can only detect standardized number plates. PSCA has to manually note down the numbers of the vehicles with non-standard number plates. These are then cross checked with Excise and Taxation Department’s database.

No Address? No Problem

If the registered number plate does not have the owner’s home address recorded in the Excise and Taxation department’s database. there is another solution. The department can use the cell-phone number of the owner to call and locate them.

If they don’t have the number in the database, they can use CNICs to request the number from telecom companies instead.

Vehicle Registration Procedures To Change

PSCA has proposed a system where the vehicle can only be registered in the city it is purchased in. Furthermore, they will have 30 days to get the vehicle registered. Cars that have been purchased with non standardized number plates will also have 30 days to get it properly registered. If they don’t comply within this time period, the plate will be deemed illegal.

In case of a vehicle being sold to a buyer and the record of its registration not being updated by the seller, the previous owner will be liable to the fines incurred by the new owner.

PSCA is also looking to link the annual token tax of a vehicle owner with any unpaid fines incurred by them.

Final Words

All of these changes will surely help the traffic situation in Lahore in the long run. Implementation is key and if it does not get properly implemented (like other government schemes and offers) then it will be just more of the same for the citizens of Lahore.

We hope that this system can be installed and brought into working condition as early as possible. If it’s a success, hopefully it will be replicated across other major cities.

Via Technology Review

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Editor at ProPakistani.

  • Very good initiative indeed, however as mentioned by the writer the key to success is proper implementation along with strict laws for traffic violators without any discrimination.

  • On paper these efforts/system look great BUT will they be fully implemented and followed like they are in other parts of the world? is a BIG question.

    • Dont you find lahore better than Karachi and Peshawar and Queeta in many ways?

      If they are planning and even part of it is implemented it will bring a lot good to the city and will set example for rest of the country.

      • seriously bro example of? allocating all the money on 4th province, the pm govt is building there home town….simple as that..

    • READ the article.

      “In case of a vehicle being sold to a buyer and the record of its registration not being updated by the seller, the previous owner will be liable to the fines incurred by the new owner.

      PSCA is also looking to link the annual token tax of a vehicle owner with any unpaid fines incurred by them.”

      I don’t think any seller would want fines lurking over their head. Open letter would soon be a thing of the past!

      • thanks for mentioning the obvious – there are millions sold ALREADY ON OPEN LETTER as there was no such regulation in the past – there has to be a plan to first get those vehicles on current owners name, before they start to penalize people

  • BAN motorcycle’s or at the very least impact a HUGE duty or regulate countless companies pumping out 30k bikes and the problem will be solved 99%.

    Trust me we are at a point where there are 3 males in a household and 4 motorcycles.

    • Same is the situation with cars, car price in Pakistan should be at least 4 Million to reduce number of cars :P

    • oh really? you can have car that doesn’t mean every one afford it 30k means people are getting this bike with their hard earn money so please. whereas i suggest all cars should be banned in local traveling Electric bikes or Bicycles should be introduced which will be helpful traffic also for health and expenses.
      Ghar say office tak bi dunia gari per jati hia akilye beth kay samgh say bahir hai :) i am not against you or any car owner i too have car but we should be realistic :)

      • Have you ever observed and realized how bikers ride on the road? Just observe at a closed signal, my car has been scratched by numerous times by these bikers trying to get at the top of the queue when the signal is red (they just have to get to front).

        I drive a car and my constant concern is bikers coming and going from either way, not all but i say 80% bike riders are the scum of traffic problems.

        • this is what you think if i say how car drivers drive the car… you are making thing general which you are facing if i have to say people on cars have no sense of driving that is wrong the issue i face does not mean everyone is like that .. overall both car and bike drives need driving sense which is issue on both parts but we are going off topic this is about implementation thing :)

    • Mighty fool, there is not even a single country in the whole world where motorcycles are banned.

      If cars were cheaper like Europe or India, people would buy cars instead of buying motorbikes.

      • Oh a wise guy. Well let me tell you wise guy i have lived 2 years in Germany and i haven’t seen gazillion of bikes on roads in all of europe. You could occasionally see a heavy bike or two rather then thousands of cheap made bikes driven by jahils like her in Pak. Also i am a fairly regular to Jeddah (KSA) and guess what? No bikes there either. This problem is specific to Pakistan and India.

        • Germany and KSA are rich countries with people who can afford expensive cars. Plus the used cars are extremely cheap. That’s why you don’t see flock of bikers on road riding “cheap” bikes.

          Let me give you the hint, my friend who lives in Qatar bought fully equipped 2008 model xli for 5 lac pkr while featureless pakistani crap xli 2008 model is available for 14 lac.

          So you got the point Mr Shoaib dum dum?

  • This proposal is extremely flawed.

    There are thousands of cars with fancy number plates and fake number plates. All those with cars above 80-90 lakh are above the law and don’t use original number plates.
    Bike lanes are impossible to implement.
    E-Challan system is the worst idea ever. Government will take millions of tax money to implement it and will take more than 5 -10 years to properly implement it.

    If only a little strictness in simple challans of upto PKR 5000 and bikers challan upto 3000 then logon ko automatically aqal ajayegi. Wardens are doing an excellent job handling traffic but that is not their work, their work is to decrease wrong drivings. Current chalan of PKR 250 is a joke. Should also increase car prices more to avoid people buying 2 or more cars for one house. One car per house is enough.

    • Many GCC countries have automated traffic handling, fines and databases with minimal human intervention required and it is a success.

      • Bilkul sahi Ali Salman bhai yeh system successful hai un countries main but baat wohi hai IMPLEMENTATION agar woh hojae yahan tu kia hi baat hai :-) Yahan tu aapke mere liye rules aur hain aur VIPs ke liye aur. I hope you are getting my point.

  • The only solution to this is to develop other cities of Punjab. Invest everything on health, education of other major cities. Make special programs to employ people there. Make other cities more attractive and a better place to live than Lahore or at least provide similar facilities.

    P.S. Special lanes for bikes?? LOL. I see cars driving in bicycle lanes and bikes on pedestrian footpaths. However, one thing should be done. Traffic wardens needs to be more strict 24/7. No leniency. And fines should be up 500% than what they are now. So that no one dares to violate.

  • sab se pehle is bat ko yaqeeni bnaya jae k every one who is sitting on wheel or riding a bike should have a valid proper driving license. us k bad baqi baten aye gi. under age driving should also be dealt with iron hand.

  • If u want to study u come in Lahore
    If u want a job u come in Lahore
    If u got ill u come to Lahore
    Then all these people who come to Lahore they loved the futilities here and want to live in lhr
    So every month more then 5 lac people are coming to Lahore no matter what ever u did traffic ? will be increasing like worse i advice government to build university hospitals in other part in punjab so min the people will come Lahore

  • What about if some one is driving recklessly and is posing threat to people a challan is not a solution for this there should be some sort of traffic police that should be able to chase and arrest such people

  • There are too many cars on roads. Proposed system will not reduce the traffic jams, it will only reduce violations.. Like most of the modern cities in Europe, we need a massive subway network which will pull people to use public transport instead of cars.

    • And definitely as others are also pointing out we need to develop our other cities. At the moment, most of country’s load is on Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

  • Yar do something for shah alam market, banson wala bazar, chamberlane street, hall road and beadon road traffic. Do something for these markets too.

  • This never gone happen as long as with same poor management ! even in 2000 million years with same management..

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