Pause and reflect!

Lurking Danger

Pause and reflect!

Medians, that are meant for the safety of road users, often end up causing fatal accidents. Though medians are painted, dust and dirt deposits on them make them invisible on the roads. And the absence of reflectors at the beginning of every median adds to the problem.

The vehicles lose control, skid and sometimes drive over the median itself. You would even find people removing the median to make way for their two wheelers to pass.

Barring a few newly-constructed medians or road dividers, the old medians across the City are either dislodged or misplaced. There’s no self-imposed discipline among the people, complain the police officials.

The authorities claim that they have paused and reflected on how to make the City roads safe for motorists but they complain that there’s no cooperation from the people as they don’t make that extra effort to maintain discipline on roads and follow traffic rules.

“A couple of years ago, medians were made up of loose stones which people would remove thereby creating a gap in them. This was dangerous. So in 2008, the police replaced these medians with cast in situ medians, which are sturdier and cannot be dislodged,” Praveen Sood, Additional Commissioner of Traffic and Safety, tells Metrolife.

“The new medians are 30 cm in height and 20 cm in width. And median markers have been nailed on to these newly constructed medians. We have installed 20,000 such medians markers,” he adds.

The cone-shaped reflectors have been replaced by these median markers. “The cone-shaped markers had  reflective sheets which would turn black when they had deposits of smoke and dust. They were useless. Median markers are washable and reflect the same amount of light. They are easy to maintain and they can’t be removed since they are nailed to the median,” adds Praveen.

Construction of medians has to be done by the BBMP, says the police. And Praveen explains that medians can be constructed only on wide roads, “the road must be 15 metres wide. Each lane must be seven and half metres wide to construct a median. The newly-erected bigger medians prevent people from crossing over and can’t be removed as well.”

The median markers have contributed to the substantial reduction in accidents, claims the police, “the accident rate in the City has reduced from 982 in 2007 to 740 in 2009. We still have a long way to go. The BBMP will have to allocate more budget to construct medians in the areas demarcated by us. If this is done, then we would place the median markers,” says Praveen.      

The BBMP officials claim that they have laid 55 km of medians in the City. “There are a few more areas that we have marked out for the purpose. We have been working on it,” said an official. Road users have their own tales to tell. They say that there are no proper medians and those that are there are out of shape posing a danger.

The reflectors and medians are well laid in upmarket areas such as M G Road, Vittal Mallya Road but they’re missing in the residential areas of the City. Balenduraj, a software engineer, says, “Medians and zebra lines create a lot of confusion for the commuters.

If one gets confused with the median, one ends up paying a fine to the cops for not following the traffic rules. I find the whole process very unorganised.” Mirshad, an entrepreneur, says, “I happened to hit a median that had no reflector and had a fall a few months ago. It’s tough at night to notice a median, especially when there are no reflectors. It could have been fatal.”

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