A turn for the worse

A turn for the worse

Reckless acts

A turn for the worse

Ever been in a situation where the vehicle in front of you abruptly takes a U-turn at points that are not designated for the purpose? Commuters who have experienced this say that this not only causes traffic jams but also leads to accidents. 

The Bengaluru Traffic Police recently sealed several gaps in the medians in the city, especially in Whitefield near Phoenix MarketCity and at several points on Hosur Road to prevent people from taking sudden U-turns. 

Despite this move, motorists say that they continue to see drivers taking abrupt U-turns. People also feel that the traffic police must come down heavily on people who violate this rule. Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, CEO, Aeronutrix Sports, says “When you are driving,  the focus is on the road. And suddenly when the person before you takes a sudden U-turn, it disturbs your calculation and concentration. You have to either brake suddenly or slow down. This is annoying.”

He adds that people who resort to such acts don’t even switch on the indicator. “It’s not only cars and two-wheelers that do this, even tempo travellers and buses resort to this. Because of the sheer size, these vehicles block half the road and cause a traffic jam,” he observes.

Vijayaraghavan also feels that the permitted U-turn points must not be changed from time to time.

Abhishek Goyal, DCP Traffic East, informs that the traffic police are taking measures to counter this tendency. Referring to the recent closure of gaps in medians in Whitefield, he says, “We don’t give too many median openings in high density traffic areas unless the road is broad enough for vehicles to take turns. The idea is to give limited and planned U-turn points without causing a possible traffic jam,” he says. Darren Pinto, an employee with a clinical research organisation, feels that strict enforcement of traffic rules is the need of the hour. He says  people must make an effort to go the extra mile and follow the rules themselves.

“People can return to the previous junction or turn into one of the bylanes and then drive back to the main road to take a U-turn at the permitted points. Sudden  turns trigger accidents and showcase indisciplined driving etiquette,” says Darren. Sharmistha Sikdar, a fitness expert, points out, “The city saw 763 fatal accidents in 2016 with at least two deaths per day from accidents.”

“I’ve noticed people taking sudden turns at intersections and some trying to squeeze their way through the small gaps between the medians. This also damages the neatly laid out median. This behaviour can cause multiple crashes, critical injuries and sometimes even death because the driver has to apply a sudden brake or slow down,” says Sharmistha.

Traffic experts say that the only way to ensure a smooth flow of traffic is to provide an alternative to the existing traffic plan. Vivek Menon, member of Bangalore Vision Group, says the average speed of vehicles in the city today is about 8 km per hour, thanks to the increase in the number of vehicles and narrow roads.

People taking abrupt U-turns add to the chaos and slow down the movement of vehicles.
 “Such bottlenecks disrupt the efficiency of traffic flow and should be prevented at any cost. The traffic police has to provide an alternative pattern of traffic movement,” explains Vivek.