Once again three young boys lost their lives in a reckless motorbike accident. While details of the incident that occurred on Monday morning in Dhoke Sayedan are still unclear, according to eye-witness accounts obtained by the city traffic police the three youth were riding on a single motorbike and as they performed stunts the bike veered off and crashed into a roadside barrier near Chur Chowk.
Two of them died on the spot, while the third succumbed to his injuries later. All three boys were in their late teens.
Aleem Riaz was preparing to take admission in matric, said his older brother Azeem. “We need to remember those who have passed. My brother Aleem is still alive as he is in our spirits,” he said emotionally, and then added: “It is unclear what caused the accident but Aleem had never been involved in bike racing in the past.”Akmal Abbasi, father of 17-year-old Atif who died instantaneously, told Dawn that he owned the motorbike involved in the incident.
“I’d let my son ride it around once or twice a month only. But I believe that Atif was not driving it when it crashed. Nobody really knows how the accident happened. But I have lost my young son who was waiting to get admission in to college,” he lamented.
Mr Abbasi blamed the police for not keeping a watchful eye and not discouraging them from performing stunts that proved to be fatal. “Even if the boys were performing wheelies or other stunts on the busy Peshawar Road, is it not the police’s responsibility to stop them from doing that?” he questioned.
According to traffic police and hospital data, at least 40 to 50 victims of road accidents due to motorbike racing and wheelies are brought to the emergency departments of the three allied hospitals of the city every day. “However, the young men never acknowledge the fact that they were hurt because of their own behaviour,” a police officer said.
The role of police is clearly important in checking the menace of wheeling and motorbike racing as it has claimed several lives of young boys and left several dozens injured.
Since the three teenage riders lost their lives, the police have intensified their raids in Cantonment, Waris Khan and Civil Line area and impounded motorcycles, especially those modified for wheelie and taken their riders into custody. However, the motorcycle riders have changed their venue and shifted to Soan and Defence Road.
In fact, races and stunts is a popular practice among young motorcyclists who gather on different roads and it will not be easy to curb it.
Betting on such races is commonplace, and some youngsters have modified their motorbikes heavily by removing or replacing body and engine parts to make them run faster.
Mr Z.K, a regular organiser of such motorbike races, told Dawn that the cost of modification of 70CC motorbikes is between Rs15,000 and Rs20,000, and for 125CC motorbikes between Rs25,000 and Rs30,000.
“Majority of the young boys who takes part in motorbike racing are unemployed as they sleep in the morning and race at night,” he claimed.
He further revealed that the trend of wheelies has declined and riders now enjoy races more.
It is quite clear that the police would have to be more pro-active in controlling such wayward youth and the parents would also need to re-think when giving their wards vehicles at an age when they cannot even apply for a driving licence.