Sheer cut, near miss

Sheer cut, near miss

Jumping lanes

Sheer cut, near miss

No discipline: Lane-cutting is a problem that most drivers in the City face. (for illustration purpose only)Rob Schneider, the Hollywood actor, was recently in town to perform a stand-up comedy act; predictably, he selected Bangalore’s notorious traffic situation to be the butt of most of his jokes.

Among his repertoire of funny one-liners was the following statement: “Here, lanes are just a suggestion.”

The comment may have drawn some titters from the audience, but the fact remains that lane-cutting is an annoyingly common problem that drivers in the City have to deal with on a daily basis.

Legally speaking, a driver who jumps lanes can be booked for a case of ‘lane discipline’.
Mallikarjun, the traffic police inspector at the Cubbon Park station, says, “If cars jump lanes and move from the right to the left, we book cases of lane discipline, and they are charged a fine of Rs 100. Wherever we find such cases, we book the drivers.”

However, most Bangaloreans agree that not much is being done to curb this problem.

Raghuram, an advertising professional, says that as someone who drives a lot in the City, it’s a menace that he continuously has to deal with.

“I travel about 30 kilometres everyday. Lane-cutting happens a lot, especially by auto drivers and at traffic signals. It’s rather irritating,” he says.

Apart from being an annoyance, he adds that it could be quite dangerous. “A couple of times I’ve almost crashed my car near Corporation Circle. Vehicles tend to rush past and I’ve had a few near misses. People just aren’t sensitive to this issue,” he complains.

He also believes that the police could do a lot more to stop this problem. “They may be putting up hoardings and educating people, but officials at signals don’t take this seriously. I’ve never seen anyone get booked for jumping lanes. The police should get stricter about this,” he maintains.

Jayachandran, a sales professional, feels that this problem can be controlled only when there’s more awareness about the best routes to take from one place to another.

“Sometimes, people can’t help it, because that’s how roads are designed and the traffic flows. There are so many vehicles that there just isn’t place for everyone to drive all at once; it’s inevitable,” he says, adding, “I feel people often don’t know which road to take to get
to their destination; once there’s more awareness about this, we won’t have unnecessary stress on the road.”

He also highlights the need for more police intervention. “We need ‘controlled’ roads, where police have more control. If there’s a jam, there’s no one around to clear it,” he says.

Others believe that lane-jumping has less to do with the amount of traffic on the road, and more to do with the mentality of drivers in the City.

Karthik, a professional, says, “Bangalore has developed a kind of culture, where people feel it’s okay to jump lanes. I have friends who’ve told me it’s not the case in other cities.”

He concedes, though, that part of the problem is to do with infrastructure. “The infrastructure and construction of roads are also in a certain way, and people don’t want to be delayed. This can’t be changed,” he concludes.