Pedestrians in fix as bikers use footpaths during traffic jams

KARACHI: Reckless bikers have posed a grave danger to pedestrians as they are violating the traffic rules by riding their bikes on footpaths along busy roads, particularly during peak hours when traffic jams are common in the metropolis.

These negligent drivers have no sense and care for the rights of pedestrians and they ride their bikes on the footpaths without any fear. Sadly the majority of these drivers do not possess valid driving licenses. The elderly men, women and schoolchildren cannot walk on the footpaths when motorcyclists ride their bikes on footpaths particularly when traffic jam issue occurs on any road in the city.

In Karachi, almost all footpaths have already been encroached by street vendors, auto workshops, car dealers and illegal parking mafia; however, remaining free footpaths are now being used by the negligent motorcyclists, causing more troubles for the pedestrians.

Resultantly, more accidents with pedestrians are reported when they give way to bikers and walk on busy roads. Pedestrians when show concern over violation of law by the motorcyclists and called them reckless drivers as they drive their bikes causing trouble for innocent pedestrians.

NED University’s Professor Usman Ali Shah said that majority of motorcyclists ride their bikes recklessly and violate the traffic laws. He said the advanced countries have developed their traffic system and their road infrastructure in such a way that could not affect pedestrians’ rights but rather to protect them.

In these countries driving license system instils the sense of responsibility among the drivers and then allows them to drive their vehicles on the road. He said in these countries it is easy for one to get a job but not a driving licence unless the candidate qualifies the proper procedure of driving test. If a learner driver during the driving test even hit his motorcar or motorbike’s tire with a pavement, he would be considered as negligent driver and disqualified for the test but in Pakistan no one wants to follow the traffic rules and violate them easily, he added.

A 70-year old pedestrian A. Salim Mirza said the government should take action against the negligent drivers who are violating the traffic law and riding bikes on footpaths. There is also need to instil the sense of responsibility among drivers about the pedestrian’s rights including Zebra crossing, pedestrian traffic signal crossing, constructing underpasses rather than making flyovers as these bridges cannot be used be medically ill person, disable persons, elderly men, women and schoolchildren.

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