Desperados behind the wheel

Desperados behind the wheel

Lax enforcement

Desperados behind the wheel

So what? When caught, arguing with the cops is a common sight. DH Photo by P Samson Victor

The bottom line is whether we drive two, three or four wheelers we need policing on every road and every street corner. Without the fear of punishment we do not regulate ourselves or follow the law even though we know it is meant for our safety and well-being,” say irate Bangaloreans, who are fed up with the total lack of accountability exhibited on our beleaguered roads by road users of all ages.

Franck Barthelemey has been living in the City for five years now and says that the traffic problems have only become progressively worse. “Bad driving tends to spread like a “virus” among road users who flout the law. Among the escalating offences, I notice on a daily basis are tailgating (driving too close to the vehicle in front), poor lane discipline, not indicating and overtaking (passing a vehicle on the left side). Aside from the inconvenience to myself and other road users, this kind of inconsiderate driving is very dangerous. We do need very strict and sustained police enforcement.”

Amrith Rao, a techie admits to a certain laxity when it comes to observing traffic rules. “Yes, we bike riders tend to weave in and out of lanes and cut corners. And some of us even encroach on the pavements either to park or to use as a quick escape route from a traffic jam,” he says, adding apologetically, “I make sure that there are no pedestrians around when I do though!”

“It’s not unusual to see well-educated people breaking the law if they think they will get away with it. Among the top offences, talking on a cellphone ranks high. It’s about time using a mobile phone while driving leads to loss of licence. Other irritating offences include leaving your main beam on, inappropriate use of the horn, pushing in ahead of a queue of traffic and creating a block on the other side, cutting corners, particularly at junctions,” Gayatri Dasappa exclaims. She adds, “Yet when we travel abroad we meticulously obey the laws because otherwise it will mean a hefty fine and punishment without any hope of reprieve!”

“I've been driving for many years and I have seen the levels of competence and courtesy plummet on the roads of this City. It is imperative to introduce an ‘attitude section’ in the current driving test requirements to weed out those that though capable, are not suitable to driving. In fact, many who already possess the licence need to have their licence rescinded,” says Subir Chawla, who volunteers as a school traffic warden in the mornings.

“The solution lies in making fines so prohibitively high that breaking the law will simply become way too expensive!” he says.