Stop! It is a one-way road!

Stop! It is a one-way road!

Bangalore has seen a three-fold increase in the number of cases booked for violating a no-entry zone — in other words, driving in the wrong direction on a one-way — in the last four years. According to the traffic police, the cases have gone up from 124,399 in 2008 to 432,087 in 2011. In 2012, more than 235,000 cases have been registered until June. With a majority of these cases being filed during peak traffic hours, many drivers in the City attribute this rising number of violations to the City’s poor infrastructural facilities and the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads.

 Not many drivers repent driving in the wrong direction. DH Photo by Manjunath M SWhat these offenders don’t realise, however, is that major accidents can occur by breaking one-way regulations, as there are high chances of colliding into vehicles driving in the opposite — and right — direction. “Over the last decade, many one-way lanes have been put into operation. This is basically implemented to reduce travelling time and junction conflicts for commuters in the City,” says M A Saleem, additional commissioner of police (traffic and safety).

There are 146 one-way zones in Bangalore at present. However, many commuters tend to ignore the rules on these roads since they’re perpetually in a rush. However, Saleem maintains, “People should not break these traffic rules. They should plan their journey in advance and leave about ten minutes earlier from their homes to reach their destinations safely and in time.”

Apart from violations in the central areas of the City, many cases are recorded in the outskirts as well, since there are not many police personnel to monitor them there.
Shamanth, a professional who commutes on his two-wheeler daily, complains about the traffic jams every morning while he travels to work — which is why he says he is often forced to travel on the wrong side of one-ways. “I use these lanes many times because of the traffic in the City,” he says, adding, “I am in a hurry most of the time.”
Another commuter, Gopal K, blames the Metro construction for adding to the number of one-way roads in the City to divert the traffic.

“It’s not that I want to break the rules but sometimes, I don’t have any choice to avoid the chaotic traffic jams. I take the one-way lanes once in a while — only when I’m running late for work,” confesses Gopal K. “There used to be traffic jams during the office hours in the mornings and it just got worse after the construction of the Metro.”

With the introduction of technology to monitor traffic infringements, one can only hope that people will bring about a disciplined approach towards following traffic rules.

“Ever since the traffic police were equipped with mobile phones and digital cameras to record traffic violations and the installation of surveillance cameras at various signals and junctions, traffic violations have comparatively decreased,” explains Saleem.

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