SWAT    -   The Divisional Administration of Malakand has decided to ensure im­plementation of all traffic rules and regulations including the use of hel­met by motorcyclists in view of in­creasing number of traffic accidents on highways in different districts in­cluding Swat. It has been also decid­ed to impound and forfeit tempered and unregistered vehicles soon after its recovery from roads as it had been termed main cause of these incidents.

It has been decided to launch com­prehensive campaign against illegal motorcycles in district Swat from 20th July in the first phase. All the concerned departments have been given the task of making this drive a success story by jointly working round the clock.

Alarmingly, the increasing traf­fic incidents have been reported in Swat than other districts and hence it was decided to continue this cam­paign against violating motorcy­clists till achievement of the desired results and goals and then to also ex­tend it to other districts.

A meeting was held at Commission­er Secretariat Saidu Sharif with Com­missioner Malakand Division Riaz Khan Mehsud in the chair. It was at­tended by the District Police Officer Syed Ashfaq Anwar, Secretary Re­gional Transport Authority Hamid Ali, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic Magistrate, Excise and Taxation Of­ficer, Motor Vehicle Examiner and other concerned officers. Commis­sioner Malakand expressed concern over increasing traffic accidents on highways in Swat wherein the Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has also taken strong cognizance of it and di­rected for initiating concrete steps to control this disturbing situation. He said that these road accidents be­sides loss of precious human lives were also causing damage to tourism industry in the area that would not be allowed at any cost.

The meeting took stock of the root causes behind these accidents, re­viewed the recommendations for its control and took a number of de­cisions in this regard. According to these decisions, the use of helmet by the motorcyclists was declared essen­tial. It was decided that filling stations would not give petrol to any motorcy­clist without helmet, whereas, securi­ty officials would be deputed to mon­itor the situation. Similarly, police and excise department would launch joint operation against the tempered and unregistered motorcycles.

Imposition of complete ban on riding motorcycles by the teenag­ers was also decided whereas FIRs would be registered against the vio­lating teenagers as well as their par­ents. It was also decided to launch awareness campaign for this pur­pose. The Excise department was di­rected to accelerate the registration process and issue driving licenses to the applicants within 14-day period positively.

However, learning driving permits would also be acceptable for adult motorcyclists.

Earlier, the DPO Syed Ashfar An­war and Secretary RTA Hamid Ali told the meeting that most of the traffic accidents occurred near thickly populated towns and ba­zaars on highways right from Landa­kay to Mingora and Chakhdara to Mingora. The meeting was told that the main reason of increase in num­ber of motorcycles in Swat was its provision on easy instalments by the dealers and abundant availability of spare parts. It was further told that total 527 road accidents took place in Swat during last one year out of which 366 occurred till December last while the remaining 161 acci­dents took place in the previous six months. The accidents of motorcy­cles were prominent of these casu­alties. It was further told that 119 precious human lives lost and dur­ing these accidents including 79 till December and 40 in the next six months. Similarly, 795 people were severally injured in these accidents including 495 by December and re­maining 300 in the next six months period, as was told to the meeting.

Mehsud while terming these facts and figures of road accidents in Swat as shocking and frightening directed for strict implementation on the deci­sions made in the meeting. He under­lined the need of creating maximum public awareness for avoiding the traffic accidents as well as launching vigorous campaign by the concerned departments for this purpose.