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Wider roads to run wild

ISLAMABAD, April 29: Car race drivers took two more lives in their relentless frenzy on the roads last weekend. What can put sense in the daredevils` heads, and brakes on their murderous antics?

Not judicial activism, it seems. The judiciary`s vigorous pursuit of the accused in the Bahria Town car race tragedy last December has proved no caution to the hotheads.

In fact, the day after the latest racing tragedy near Bhara Kahu, the Supreme Court had to issue new directives to the bureaucracy to bring Atif Sheikh back from the UAE, where he fled to avoid answering to law his request to the local administration to organise the drag race in Bahria Town which ended in the death of five spectators.

And the city mandarins appear not bothered, perhaps because it is often the youth of the devil-may-care class found acting as road maniacs — and inspiring their poor cousins.

All these years only the urge to ever widen the roads has driven them, not caring to broaden the minds of road users also that would allow them to observe traffic rules and the rights of others.

On Sunday, Sajid Hafeez and Nasir Khan met their death as a car chasing another hit their motorcycle on the wide, and busy, highway to Murree. Dawn

Enraged commuters gave a chase to the hit-and-run car and caught its driver, Nadeem Baloch. But the man he was racing with escaped. “Sajid and Nasir died on the spot. I was just five minutes behind them,” Abdullah, younger brother of Sajid, told sobbing.

A junior rank officer in the Ministry of Special Initiatives, Sajid, 30, had gone to Bhara Kahu to repair a computer at Nasir`s place.

“Sajid was all young and talented having an art of computer and a command on different subjects related to his job besides a decent guy known to many in his community,” narrated Abdullah in feeble voice.

Both the bodies of Sajid and Nasir, he said, were smashed because of high velocity of the car which had hit them from the back. “It`s sad and tragic and I am hopeful that police will be doing something,” he asserted. Dawn

However, motorcycle or car racing is a thrill for youngsters as Ali Ahmer, 17, hailing from Rawalpindi told : “It`s a thrill and we can`t control it.”

But what options were left with Islamabad Traffic Police who hardly go for hot pursuits and stop vehicles which were on a racing mode at different arteries of the city specifically at the Muree Road heading towards hill station of Muree. Dawn

“The speed guns are there and we are doing our job,” claimed one of the ITP officials while talking to .

“We have strict laws in place for drivers, involved in rash driving besides who violates traffic laws and also put the lives of other motorists at risk,” he maintained.

The official quoted a 279 from PPC which related with `Rash driving or riding on a public way`, says: “Whoever drives any vehicle, or rides, on any public way in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause injury to any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to Rs3,000 or with both.”

The ITP official maintained that they easily arrest rash drivers but the motorcyclists were a real headache.

“They run away in streets, cross green belts unmindful of the fact that it may endanger their lives and go for whatever option they have to save their skin from ITP officials,” he said.

He said they impounded rashly driven vehicles besides summoning parents of underage drivers. “The minors are allowed to go with a warning but their parents have to face the court of law,” he added.

The ITP official said that people at large should also play a role in curbing illegal car racing and bike racing on highways and lodge an immediate complaint at telephone No 915.

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