Delivery riders

COVID has resulted in a mushroom growth of e-commerce, and online purchases and deliveries have seen a spike, especially food delivery services, across the country. In Karachi also, many online home delivery businesses have expanded their operations to cater to the growing market demand.

This growth has resulted in addition on the city’s roads of hundreds of motorcycle riders who are involved in home delivery services. Lately, some of these motorbike riders have become moving traffic hazards as they ride at dangerous speeds and with utter disregard for traffic rules in order to speed up their deliveries.

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They suddenly appear on the road out of nowhere and try to jump traffic lights whenever they can. They are also often seen riding on the wrong side of the road in order to save time. I have recently witnessed many such riders involved in traffic accidents due to their reckless riding.

Ironically, very few of them wear a safety helmet while riding, which is compulsory under the traffic rules. Some of them move on motorcycles with malfunctioning headlights, making it difficult for motorists to see them from a distance past sunset.

It should be made mandatory for the home delivery companies to impart road safety training to their respective riders. They should also incorporate heavy penalties and disciplinary action in their terms of employment for unsafe riding and violation of traffic rules. These companies should also be held liable in case any of their riders is involved in a traffic accident due to such riding.

The riders need to realise that they should not try to expedite deliveries at the expense of endangering their own as well as others’ lives. A proper training, reward-and-consequence framework by their employers for safe behaviour would be helpful in this regard.

AAMIR MALIK

KARACHI

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