Karachi, the largest and most populous city in Pakistan, and also the trade hub of the country has been rapidly expanding without any kind of informal infrastructure. This also includes any kind of traffic management system.
In order to deter law-breaking motorists in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi Traffic Police has decided to come up with stricter measures. In a recent move by the Deputy Inspector General of Karachi Police, Asif Aijaz Shaikh, the penalties on traffic violations are to be increased and are currently under discussion.
With the increased penalties, it is expected that the traffic violations and road fatalities will get reduced.
Here are the enhanced fine amounts that are being proposed based on the offence(s):
However, the question arises that if there is no proper traffic infrastructure in the city or any kind of basic knowledge being given to the public, is the increased penalty justified?
Over the years, most of the public have relied on the city’s damaged and ever-deteriorating public transport but the number of private cars on the roads have increased. Because of this, the majority of the drivers that one encounters are devoid of any knowledge about basic traffic rules or regulations.
Let alone being familiar with traffic rules and regulations, most don’t even have valid driving licenses. Combine this illiteracy with high amount of fines and what do you get? People trying to bribe their way out and policemen who will be happy to accept such an act.
Citizens of the metropolis are subjected to getting bribed by the local police. They have also been caught red-handed on the roads while shamelessly accepting bribes, as evidenced by a number of videos seen in social media.
This trend is nothing new as in October 2015, media outlets reported that around 842 officials were found involved in corruption.
One question comes to mind. A person who is about to get fined Rs. 2,000 for violating a traffic signals will without hesitation give Rs. 500 or even Rs. 1,000 to the traffic police in order to get free and the police will happily accept it too. Will the increased fine amounts help deter people from this menace?
Bribery can only be stopped once the public is well informed about any kind of traffic and regulations so that they don’t violate any of them in the first place. Secondly, the traffic police should be kept under strict supervision to make sure that none of them support or take part in such an unethical behavior.