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Pakistani Driving Skills and Role of Safe Cities Authority

3 minutes

While the gaddha gaaris (donkey carts) and cows are already on the road, I had been concerned that the driving skills of Lahoris may have suffered because of lack of practice during the extended lockdown. Then I remembered they never knew how to drive to begin with. Some might say, they never were under the lock down to begin with. I think it’s in our blood sadly, because the situation is as bad (if not worse) in Karachi.

I love driving in Lahore! Such freedom. No rules and you can swear all you want. Few distinguished observations that could be passed:

  • I’ve always maintained that the L that some cars sport on the upper corners of some windshields stands for nothing more than an alphabetic description of the occupants driving skills. I laud their commitment to brevity.
  • I have almost extensively driven in all metropolitan cities of Pakistan but Lahore takes the chart of being the worst. As a rule, Pakistanis drive bikes as a car in the middle of the road, and drive cars as a bike in circus.
  • Actually just the way we queue tells so much about respect for order. See them drive in Murree when they brake one way lane and think others are fool who are waiting in queue. That really infuriates me. They make a bad situation 10 times worse.

qalam dawat chowk

This is the place that I got 3 of my Challans at. It is so mesmerizing. I live nearby and all the time, they charged me for a u-turn violation. Remember, this is usually a cardoned-off zone. Even almost all of my neighbour have theirs at the same spot. No debates with the law enforcing agencies.

Some Good Aspects of Traffic Violation Checks in Place:

How did I get to know about e-challan, see attached application, download and enter the relevant information.
Punjab Safe Cities AuthorityOnline Traffic Violation Checking Application
Here was the declined appeal:
Respected Officers, for as much as I like to stress upon the need of civic sense that should prevail, it is observed that all of the above Challans, though perceivingly attributing to traffic violations but are committed in proximity locations to the usually cordoned off areas (near Wateen Chowk and Army Cantontment). Especially committed, in essence of making a U-turns while returning to our nearby house in the school zone.
First of all, you may please understand that I still consider myself at fault and the same occurrence would not have happened if my Chalans were not being sent to Islamabad (where I used to live). I just found out today and being responsible I have installed Punjab Safe Cities Authorities mobile application.
Point in case:
1. 03812035 Please notice that I intend to take a U turn towards left to my half where is there a solid line meaning I should have been on the left side to continue, but in subsequent frame, clearly I had shifted lanes to avoid the bike riders (without helmet, for prevention).
2. 03426768 Same venue approaching from west to make a cognitive U-turn to my house just 3 streets away.
3. 03753736 Can be clearly seen that, despite the car had stopped parallel to the Police Vehicle, in no sense would I drive past until it is a normative that we can not take a left turn into the Cantt area (which is clearly not a main road). I plead guilty of following last minute instincts.
4. 03266481 Same as above same mistake. Had it been indicated to me earlier (through my failure to liaison with your good office), I would not make the same error in 3.
5. 03298248 My dear officers, this is where we live and left side of the road is definitely blocked and it is well understandable that DHA authorities always block the residential approaches any time any place without notice. Off all if this Challan was reached to me 4, hence 3, 2 and 1 would not have been committed.
I also updated my credentials in the application to avoid missing deadlines. I am willing to pay all my above fines. As a struggling entrepreneur; however, I seek for your kindest wavier in good spirit. I assure you this won’t happen again. Last but not the least, I commit to any volunteering work with Traffic police for 5 days as a retribution to my pardonable ignorance.
The appeal was made at etclhr <etclhr@psca.gop.pk>
This is what they had to say:
Dear Sir
We’ve reviewed all of your e challans and found all are valid. You’ve committed clear Traffic Signal Violations.
So, due date of your pending E Challan/s has been extended, so download your duplicate E Challan/s from echallan.psca.gop.pk and deposit without any extra fine amount in any branch of “The Bank of Punjab”.
Thanks!
Now, I will pay challans at the nominated bank whereas usually it ought to be done in NBP as usual. Also, there is no strict deadline: however, they might seize your car on finding your pending challan payments till you pay them. There is also a score of penalty system out of 20. Several violation would lead to cancellation of your driving licence. 😉 that too if you have any in the first place.
Lastly, we need to exhibit the same mannerism while driving as we do otherwise during normal human interaction, such as, giving way, negotiating space etc. But somehow all courtesy is lost once we are inside a machine. The traffic police should offer a mandatory training on the “etiquette of driving” before issuing licenses. Traffic will improve if drivers are conscious of this alongside following rules. This is the only way you can prevent fines being struck in your face under the prevalent safe city schemes.
Since Traffic and Vigilante go hand in hand: Please convey any suggestion to the police by signing the petition and to show your support for police reforms in Pakistan!

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