Rawalpindi City Traffic Police Image Credit: Online

Islamabad: Rawalpindi Traffic Police have been warned against playing video games, making and receiving unnecessary phone calls and even texting during working hours.

The City Traffic Police Officer’s (CPO) orders have been passed and supervisory teams have been directed to make sure that all video games are deleted from traffic wardens’ mobile phones and that they don’t download them again.

This comes after commuters complained during an open hearing by the CPO last week that the garrison city and Murree’s traffic wardens are often found playing video games on their phones, paying little attention to regulating traffic even on busy crossroads.

Malik Azhar, staff officer of the City’s Traffic Police Officer, told Gulf News that the complaint was made by the public and the CTPO has issued directions to all 930 traffic wardens of Rawalpindi, urban and rural areas, to delete games from their phones and keep it aside while working.

However, he asserted this was not the case with all traffic wardens as they were a professional and responsible force and already knew the seriousness of their job.

“We cannot ask them to switch off their mobile phones during duty hours as traffic wardens’ point of view is that they may receive some important phone calls from their home or urgent call from their senior officers,” said Azhar.

We have also constituted teams for spot checking and those found playing on their smart phones would be taken to task, he said.

It is currently holiday season, with schools and colleges closed for the summer, and Rawalpindi’s main artery, Benazir Bhutto Road (also known as Murree Road), frequently experiences traffic jams.

According to a resident of Rawalpindi, Akhtar Hussain, the roadside stalls and vendors make it even more difficult for pedestrians and motorcyclists to safely use the roads. The situation gets worse during peak hours, he said.

These days though schools and colleges are off, the tourist influx causes heavy traffic and maintaining it at a continuous pace is a challenge for traffic police.

These tourists arrive in the city from other parts of the country and travel further to the northern areas and Murree Hills. According to traffic police, during Eid holidays from June 4-9, around 60,000 vehicles entered Murree and most of them came from Rawalpindi side.

The worst-hit points on Murree Road are Old Naz Cenima Chowk, Kohati Bazaar, Liaquat Bagh Chowk and Moti Mahal Cinema Chowk where traffic remains blocked for long durations.

The situation also leads to traffic jams in bazaars linking Murree Road including Kohati Bazaar Road, Dhoke Khaba Road, Naz Cinema road, circular road, Liaquat Road and Tipu Road.