Do barricades enforce disciplined driving

Barricades have come up at a number of accident-prone junctions and bottlenecks in Tiruchi city.

Barricades have come up at a number of accident-prone junctions and bottlenecks in Tiruchi city. | Photo Credit: Moorthy M.

As the volume of vehicular traffic grows steadily in the city, metal barricades have become a common sight on the roads, both directing and obstructing access as motorists make their way around Tiruchi.

But road-users, especially those whose travel routes have become more clogged with traffic than before because of these structures, have raised questions about their effectiveness.

Another noticeable change has been in the way barricades are being used to create new sub-lanes within the existing roads. Increasingly, the movable version of this equipment is being reinforced with concrete and placed as a permanent divider on roads.

“Barricades are meant to help control overspeeding; we place them on roads where sharp turns can cause accidents. Essentially they have the same role as speed bumps, and discourage reckless driving,” R. Mutharasu, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic), told The Hindu.

The official added that barricades were placed in the city after studying spots with a high rate of traffic accidents. “At times, the public has also suggested the places where they would be useful,” he said.

Road safety activists point out that though well-intentioned, barricades cannot always enforce disciplined driving. “Among the lesser known rules is that signboards indicating barricades should be put up well ahead on the road, to alert drivers and help them slow down, especially on highways. This is currently missing on our roads, especially on the stretches leading into Tiruchi from Karur, for example,” said P. Ayyarappan, founder of Road User Welfare Organisation.

The Tiruchi-based road safety activist said that the metal structures were also not meant to be used as advertising billboards. “Instead of commercial messages, barricades should carry sufficient reflective tapes to help motorists negotiate the road,” he said. “This is crucial in areas where street lighting is low or non-existent.”

Mr. Mutharasu said that barricades put up by shops to make their own parking islands on roads are illegal. “They are meant to be for traffic regulation alone. Businesses should not encroach on public roads for their own benefit,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 12:59:48 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/do-barricades-enforce-disciplined-driving/article65463759.ece