Wheelie the Killer!

Among all the 14th August celebrations and festivities, sad incidents of wheelie deaths were reported in the city. According to different news sources at least five boys were killed while many others were injured either minutely or seriously.

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Ride it like Rossi: Many younsters fall victim to this thrill on Independence Day each year [Image: Paul’s page]

Wheelie killings are no news to Lahore now. It is only that on a special occasion like this, much more ‘manchalay’ come out on the streets and ‘celebrate’ freedom of stunt performance on busy roads causing accidents, inconvenience to commuters and to people travelling with families. Add frequent maachis-bomb blasts (match-stick crackers) around cars clogged on the Mall, Main Boulevard Gulberg or the Canal Road and here we have scared the hell out of kids sitting inside who actually were out to have a good time with their family.

Dawn reports:

At least five young revellers died and more than 180 injured on Tuesday while doing wheelie and driving recklessly on city roads on the eve of Independence Day. The figures were obtained from sources in city hospitals, Edhi centres and Rescue 1122 headquarters.

The areas where most of motorcyclists fell prey to reckless driving and stunts were Lytton Road, Township, Bhatti Gate and Sattokatla. Meanwhile, injuries were reported in almost all city areas, especially The Mall, Canal Road, Jail Road, Ferozpur Road, Gulberg’s main boulevard and Mughalpura-Shalimar Link Road.

Despite strict security measures taken by the capital city police to prevent wheelie and rash driving, youngsters as usual kept on violating the ban and drove freely on city roads.

Shahzad, 20, was driving his motorcycle recklessly on Circular Road in Tibbi City on late Monday when he lost control over the bike and hit with a horse-cart. He was rushed to the Mayo Hospital in critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries.

In another incident, Jamshaid (25) was on a bike in Wapda Town when his motorcycle slipped and hit a footpath. He was shifted to the Lahore General Hospital in critical condition where he died.

Faheem (20), along with his unidentified friend, was doing bike stunts in Lytton Road police limit when he rammed into another motorcycle. He was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries where he died.

Jamshaid died when he hit another motorcyclist while driving recklessly in Islamia Park.

Qasim, 20, along with his friend Akram, was doing wheelie in Township when he lost control over the bike. Badly injured, he was taken to the Jinnah Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Three youngsters Aftaab, Rizwan and Umer were on a bike in Salamatpura, Hurbanspura, when the two-wheeler slipped owing to over speed. They were admitted to the Services Hospital in critical condition.

In another incident, Azhar sustained injuries when his motorcycle slipped at Club Chowk signal on the Mall.

RESCUE 1122: To meet any eventuality, the Rescue 1122 had set up nine temporary kiosks, one each at Mughalpura Chowk, Faisal Chowk, Town Hall, Taj Company Chowk, Fortress Stadium, Kalma Chowk, Fawwara Chowk, Jail Road, New Campus and Akbar Chowk. Sources said the Rescue personnel shifted some 140 injured to seven public sector hospitals during the last 24-hour time.

“A majority of the victims was young motorcyclists,” said the sources.

SECURITY: The capital city police took special security measures and heavy contingents were deployed at different crossings on busy roads to prevent the motorcyclists from reckless driving.

Despite the beefed up security, revellers who were mostly in gangs of 20 to 30 continued to display bike stunts. At many places youngsters were seen using abusive language against police officials. Many of them would pass by a police contingent teasing them with obscene gestures.

ARREST: The operations police claimed to have arrested 158 people for violation of wheelie ban and reckless driving, registering 91 cases at various police stations till filing of the report.

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