Wrong-way driving: ‘Correction of drivers’ behaviour is needed’

It is good that the issue of wrong-way driving has come up for a public debate in this manner.

The Hindu Downtown’s report suggests that the problems exist in a few places. However, the fact is, it exists all over Chennai.

What is required is not correction at a few places but correction of driver's behaviour. This can be done only by proper policing which is clearly missing on our roads. In fact, even in front of the police station you can see vehicles being boldly driven on the wrong side of the road and no action is taken against the errant drivers.

You have suggested that providing easy access to petrol stations and other buildings of public utilities from the opposite side of road, which in your opinion will prevent people driving on the wrong side. It is a suggestion that does not seem to factor in some realities of the situation, which include increase in vehicular traffic.

With ever increasing traffic, such methods will make traffic slow and ultimately lead to a traffic jam everywhere. U-turns have been provided and people have to be taught to use them. Everything can not be made convenient to a few who need to go to the other side of the road, quickly.

What is required is very strict policing, which includes fining the violators heavily. Unfortunately, motorists driving on the wrong side of the road have started believing that they are right and others are wrong. A very disturbing trend indeed in Chennai.

(Pravin Bihani is a resident of Anna Nagar)

‘This problem is rampant on a section of ECR’

I have noticed that wrong-way driving is rampant at the following roads and junctions. Sometimes, this traffic violation takes place, despite the presence of traffic police personnel.

* Nandanam-Venkat Narayana Road junction on Anna salai. While trying to reach Teynampet, any motorist coming from Nandanamhas to travel upto YMCA (in the Saidapet direction), take a U-turn and then proceed towards Teynampet. However, people simply drive in the wrong direction as they come from Nandanam, near the Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar statue, and then proceed straight towards Venkata Narayana Road or take right to get to Teynampet.

* SIET signal on Anna Salai. Many motorists coming from K B Dasan Road engage in wrong-way driving and then take a right turn at the SIET signal to reach Pondy Bazaar. This is a very common violation on this section

* There are many points on a section of East Coast Road, between Akkarai and Thiruvanmiyur, where wrong-way driving is rampant. You can witness this traffic violation on both sides of the arterial road.

This series on wrong-way driving should help put the spotlight on a much-ignored problem. If unchecked, wrong-way driving would be putting law-abiding motorists in jeopardy due to the irresponsible action of a few other motorists. The police should also come down heavily on motorists who engage in wrong-way driving.

(Rajan Rao is a resident of Raghavan Colony, West Mambalam)

‘Enforcement holds the key’

It is largely two- and three-wheeler drivers who indulge in wrong-way driving. That is not to say those driving four-wheelers don’t violate the traffic book in this manner. Some of the violators persist in this dangerous driving behaviour simply because they believe they can get away with it. In many parts of the West, this kind of traffic violation is extremely rare, particularly because motorists can be sure of swift and firm action by the police if they engaged in it. Mixed location of public facilities/ utilities is no reason for such wanton transgression of traffic rules, and mixed location of such facilities is not peculiar to our country.

Generally, on most city roads, there is a road-crossing at an interval of about 500 metres, and if more crossings have to be created, it can be done only at the cost of smooth vehicular flow. When vehicular movement is sluggish, there can be heavy congestion, resulting in long commuting hours.

There are only two ways to how this problem can be checked. One, motorists’ compliance with traffic regulations, for their safety as well as the safety of other road users. Two, strict enforcement of traffic rules by the traffic police.

(G. Gopala Krishna Moorthy is a resident of Saligramam)

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:12:20 PM |

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