About City Traffic Police

As soon as the sun is up, traffic of Lahore starts playing havoc with you. Some say it is due to the poor traffic system but others blame this on the growing number of cars. Well, both reasons are valid. Until a few years back traffic here would run without a hitch. However, as soon as banks announced the car-leasing system and people started getting cars easily, things started going awry.

Some suggest that it is due to poor traffic system but others blame it on the growing number of cars. It would not be wrong to say that traffic in Lahore is frenzied, disorderly and the roads are often jammed with transportation of all sorts. Well, both the reasons are probably true. Affordability of cars on loans and various other ways has occasioned in various traffic issues. Along with this it has turned out to be a growing challenge for the traffic police. Especially during school and office our there is traffic insanity everywhere and its impossible for the traffic police to regulate it.
Many bus services are working but these are insufficient to meet requirements of people. More public transport services are needed which include:

  • A metro train service was required to be introduced to decrease the number of private vehicles and to help the public. There is a need for more bridges, flyovers, etc.
  • People should be educated about traffic problems and how to resolve them. The number of private vehicles must be cut.
  • Separate lanes should be made for pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles to avoid accidents and to improve emergency services.
However, many steps have been taken by the government to improve the traffic flow which includes the Rai wind flyover, Ring Road and certain other projects. The traffic situation within the city is getting worse, especially at the Kalma Chowk with flyover construction going on there. While appearing before the court, advocate Ahmed Rauf, represented the government and submitted a report regarding the construction of the flyover which was in the public interest.

The Brief History

An effective traffic and transport system is precarious for a country’s socio-economic progress. The more smoothly the passengers and goods get to the desired end, the more quick is the stride of development of the country.

THE DRAWBACKS IN OLD TRAFFIC POLICING SYSTEM

Experts say that there is a combination of poor understanding of traffic regulations, outdated traffic infrastructure, inadequate public transport facilities, an abundance of easily available automobiles and automobile dependant urban sprawl, amongst many other things, which contributes to the past situations. Whenever traffic burden increases on roads or latter are blocked for the smooth movement VIPs traffic mess is sure. The Punjab Traffic Police failed to ward off traffic troubles on city roads as snarl-up left commuters in the lurch for hours.

Long queues of vehicles and worst type of traffic jam were witnessed at the road networks of the city. Motorists protested against the poor traffic management and condemned the traffic police for their failure to keep smooth flow of traffic on the key roads and crossings. They also demanded the provincial government to take strict notice of the regular traffic jams and ensure remedial steps to improve the Situation.

PROBLEMS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Traffic Law Enforcement was not a smooth process in Lahore. There were a number of reasons for the difficult situation. Most of the causes are attributable to our peculiar socioeconomic and socio-psychological conditions. The traffic police have to work within the sub optimal environment for the performance of their duties. Some of the handicaps, which affect the enforcement, are given as under:

  1. Non-Compliance/Non observance of traffic rules by the road users.
  2. Poor Road construction/condition/engineering
  3. Existence of Multi Speed vehicles (Incongruent Traffic Mix) -both motorized and animal drawn
  4. Ever increasing Encroachment
  5. Poor quality/mechanical condition of vehicles
  6. Road dependent Transport System
  7. Existence of Transport Mafias
  8. Inadequately trained/equipped traffic police
  9. Absence of professional Transport companies
  10. Poor coordination amongst traffic system agencies
  11. Corrupt practices in agencies
  12. Non-research based professional/ Transport/Traffic solutions
  13. Absence of surveillance and guidance equipment/infrastructure
  14. Absence of computer based databases about vehicles and drivers.

THE NEED OF A NEW REVOLUTIONIZED FORCE

 

The environment of the Lahore was on serious threat due to the growing numbers of automobiles and small industries. Traffic congestion is the routine phenomenon and feature of the Lahore's life. Sometime it is bad enough to require drastic control measures. The population density of Lahore in 2008 was 4796 persons/km2. In the same year the number of vehicles per motor vehicle was 7.65 persons per vehicle. There were 571 vehicles per area km2 at that time. In 2006 there were 865 vehicles per road and, it is important to mention here that there were 6618 persons per road kilometer in the city of Lahore(Punjab Development Statistics, Bureau of Statistics, 2006). The traffic flow situation in the city was very poor and causing multifarious problems for its inhabitants. If this problem was left uncontrived, it will continue to deteriorate and may become a monster in the near future. So the Government of Punjab highlighted first time the need of new revolutionized traffic policing system.

The Drawbacks

THE MAIN CAUSES FOR DEMOTIVATION OF TRAFFIC WARDENS

The key analysis about the in-sustainability of the Traffic Wardens force can be comprehended under the following heads of Growing Challenges and Shortcomings.

THE FACTOR OF UNEASINESS FROM TRANSFER AND POSTING POLICIES

The determination of the dynamic force was excellent. But later on the Moral of the Traffic Wardens touched its lowest ebb because of the evils of favoritism culture in their Transfers/ Postings, lack of Service Structure and Guarantee

THE INEFFICIENCY FACTOR OF TRAFFIC WARDENS CAUSES WORST TRAFFIC MESS

The inefficiency factor of the traffic wardens caused long traffic queues were observed for many hours. Ambulances were also found trapped .Even the insides roads were found inching forwarded making the traffic as nightmare for motorcyclists and car-riders. The traffic remained stranded making the road users a true picture of hopelessness. The Provincial metropolis witnessed the worst traffic chaos due to traffic police's failure to ensure necessary traffic arrangements. The city roads had to face more traffic disarray as traffic police authority has not carved out alternative plan to keep the traffic steady and smooth. All thoroughfares even the linked roads started getting chocked.

THE SHORTCUTS AND ILLOGICAL CHALLANING PRACTICES OF TRAFFIC WARDENS

The traffic violations addressed by the Traffic Wardens were done initially on the merit basis. After a time the violation addressing performance of the traffic wardens declined due to their easy escape methods e.g. some shortcut & illogical strategies were practiced to ensure artificial performance on duty. As a result, a numbers of complaints registered against wardens were increased and the punishments were on peak. Later on this issue was encountered by the cross-checks through different performas for their daily performance.

TRAFFIC WARDENS INADVERTENTLY MISBEHAVE WITH CITIZENS

Some of the Traffic wardens misbehave with citizens and manhandle them just for nothing. Following the persistent protests of traders and residents, now transporters have started protesting against them against the brutal torture of their fellows and passengers.

THE AIMS OF THE FORCE

The force was aimed to increase the public preference towards adherence to the traffic laws and regulations. The main ingredients were as follows:

  • Reduce road casualties
  • Tackle the threat of terrorism
  • Reduce anti-social use of the roads
  • Enhance public confidence and reassurance by patrolling the roads
  • Attend and investigate all fatal collisions Intelligence-led operations use a combination of enforcement and education to focus on issues such as:
  • Antisocial and criminal use of vehicles on the roads
  • Drink and Drug driving
  • Speeding
  • Seizing without Registration and unlicensed vehicles
  • Motorcycle, moped and scooter safety
  • Commercial vehicles and the transportation of hazardous materials
  • Un-roadworthy and dangerous vehicles
  • Road safety at schools

THE MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE TRAFFIC WARDENS FORCE

Traffic Police performs the following functions to keep the traffic orderly and smooth in the city of Lahore under the given conditions of road engineering and public conduct:

  • General Management/Regulation of Traffic
  • Enforcement of Traffic Laws/Rules
  • VVIP Movement Management
  • Traffic Education and Awareness
  • Preparation of Traffic Plans
  • Traffic Incident Management/Rescue Operations
  • Drivers’ Testing and Licensing
  • Accidents Investigations
  • Environmental/Sound Pollution Control
  • Co-ordination with other agencies

THE OUTSTANDING DECORUM OF THE FORCE

The force with its outstanding decorum in terms of being well equipped has initiated its operations successfully, with a positive influence on the public perception. The force was given a dynamic new look to keep the moral high of the officers. While on duty Traffic Wardens achieved the highest level of Public satisfaction through courteous attitude and helping them when they are on road.

THE PUBLIC FRIENDLY INTERFACE

The public friendly and service orienting force committed to excellence in Traffic Management, Highest Standards of Integrity and Courtesy. The City Traffic Police Lahore focuses strongly over the last few years, that the city traffic has become a great challenge for Higher Authorities. There is a huge increase of vehicles in months and maintaining the traffic flow on the network of roads in the city is a great challenge. So there was a need of