Driving home the message

Terrible traffic

Driving home the message

Packed: There are no separate lanes for autos and buses. You find traffic pouring in  unregulated from all three sides.  Burgeoning Bangalore appears to be at its innovative worst when it comes to freak road mishaps. The last two weeks saw more than three people being killed in freak road accidents in the heart of the City. Bad roads, lack of basic driving sense and bad traffic management are just some of the reasons that are sighted by experts and the people.
Roads often dug up and footpath crowded with hawkers, leave citizens no option but to walk on the roads and be a source of danger both to themselves and oncoming traffic. Potholes, uneven roads and constant repairs being carried on them are directly responsible for accidents.

Massive explosion in the volume of vehicular traffic and the decades' old roads which were not intended to carry such loads too are responsible for traffic mishaps. Many vehicles are not tested regularly and often have faulty brakes and, too often, carry no windscreen wipers or tail lights. Drunken driving is another common reason.

Praveen SoodTraffic experts claim that the fatal accidents have reduced drastically in the City and that Bangalore has the lowest number of accidents compared to any other City. Additional Commissioner of Traffic Praveen Sood blames the recent accident deaths on rains, slippery roads and potholes. He thinks it’s not enough to have good roads, broad bridges and culverts. There must be efficient and responsible drivers. “Sometimes people lose control over their brakes. Most accidents occur between four and five in the morning and nine and ten at night when people are speeding,” says Sood. He admits that police enforcement must be tightened. “We don’t even catch five per cent of the offenders. It’s possible for us to do only selective and random checks,” he says. Lack of adequate manpower has made it impossible for the cops to catch every offender.

Traffic expert M N Sreehari thinks the town planners and traffic police must adopt a scientific approach to handling traffic in the City. He feels most accidents occur due to human error, “Booking case for negligent and rash driving alone is not enough. Police must define what they mean by rash driving and scientifically classify these offences. Efficient enforcement of rules and better management will go a long way in preventing accidents,” reasons Sreehari.   

Chaotic tales

‘It’s a mess out there’

People too have their own tale to tell. They are fed up with the bad sense of driving and pathetic management by the police. People say they don’t find cops at major traffic junctions in the City. And when it rains, the cops virtually go missing.

 “There’s no lane discipline. Roads and pavements are dug up and left unattended to for months together. This leaves no room for pedestrian paths and people are forced to walk on the roads. Traffic management is pathetic,” says Aakash Gadia, a businessman. Sanjana S H, a student of Jain College finds cops  missing at major traffic junctions in the City. “Looks like over speeding is the order of the day. You’d find two wheeler riders suddenly criss-crossing and overtaking in the thick of traffic and there are no cops to catch these offenders,” observes Sanjana.

 Historian and consultant archivist Indira Chaudhary too thinks the cops are indifferent toward traffic management. “We also find that the pavements are perpetually dug up thus narrowing the roads making impossible for pedestrians to walk and vehicles to move,” says Indira.

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