From: b sabha <>
Public has greater role to play in resolving city's traffic chaos - Times of 
Severe and stringent steps are required to be taken urgently, if we are to save 
our roads from total chaos and mayhem

COMMENT - `Public has greater role to play in resolving city's traffic chaos'
Armin Wandrewala

The traffic situation on Mumbai's roads is reaching a state of grave concern. 
Severe and stringent steps are required to be taken urgently , if we are to 
save our roads from total chaos and mayhem.

While the authorities --BMC, government, police, transport department--have a 
major role to play in resolving the many issues that plague our roads, the 
general public itself has an even greater role to play , considering that the 
majority of the problems are caused by sheer indiscipline, lack of obedience to 
signals and traffic regulations, and utter lawlessness that road users exhibit 
blatantly, defying laws, rules, regulations, even common courtesy and indeed, 
common sense.

It is a given, today , that hardly anyone halts at a red signal. What is worse 
is, if someone does, they are sought to be intimidated by the vehicles behind, 
into moving ahead, with constant honking, at times even abuses! This happens 
even at pedestrian crossings and the zebra lines continue to be transgressed. 
Often, regrettably , the traffic police at pedestrian junctions urge the 
vehicles ahead, right onto the zebra lines, in a bid to try and diffuse traffic 
jams, without a thought to pedestrians.

The problems are compounded by pedestrians jaywalking , often while talking on 
cellphones, resulting in motorists having no option but to honk, leading to 
noise pollution. Pedestrians sometimes jump over barricades right in the middle 
of the road without a thought to oncoming traffic, even at night. A mishap, if 
occurs, can then create untold problems for the hapless motorist, for no fault 
of his.

Increasingly evidenced is the tendency of motorists --especially bikers--to 
drive on the wrong side of the road and to completely disregard "no-entry" 
signs, creating bottlenecks for the traffic coming the right way . Bikers often 
get onto pavements adding to the woes of the hapless pedestrians.

While illegal parking mushrooms all over, there is the alarming increase in the 
tendency of people to park not only bikes, but even cars on pavements. So, 
pedestrians who are already battling against hawkers, encroachments and filth, 
also have to contend with vehicles parked on pavements.

What is needed is a combined, holistic effort by all road users with sincere 
efforts by the authorities concerned to address our traffic situation, which 
results in more fatalities than does terror. Less tolerance and more outrage 
voices against traffic offenders would perhaps help remedy the situation.

(The author is an advocate who has filed a PIL against rampant traffic 
violations and indiscipline)


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