Lane discipline, a major concern

- SAMIK KHAREL, Kathmandu
Lane discipline, a major concern

Oct 15, 2014-

Although city roads have been widened to ease vehicular movements, lane discipline is seen as a major concern. Violating the lane rules and randomly changing tracks have not only invited accidents but have also given a headache to the traffic authorities.

The initial assumptions made about the recent Babarmahal bus accident that claimed three lives linked overtaking from a wrong lane at top speed for the mishap. Despite numerous attempts made by authorities to keep vehicles limited to their lanes, road mishaps have been a common tragedy due to the lack of road dividers and markings. “ We have tried our best to monitor and book lane violators. However, we haven’t been effective enough to minimise it,” said DIG Keshav Adhikari, chief at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD).

Earlier this week, the MTPD enforced a campaign against the lane violators which in three days has booked over a thousand drivers. The charged drivers are slapped a fine of Rs 200 together with taking a mandatory class similar to that attended by people booked in drunk driving cases.

The MTPD has found that majority of violations occur in key city roads like Kalimati- Thapathali, Maitighar- Singha Durbar-Bhadrakali, Putali Sadak- Krishna Pauroti and Chabhail- Gaushala among others. “We have deployed a number of traffic and plainclothes police to charge violators for lane discipline,” said Adhikari.

All is, however, not successful with the campaign as physical road dividers no longer exist in city roads. The concrete road dividers, an integral component for maintaining road lane discipline, were removed to clear out the city streets during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and never to be replaced back to the streets again.

The authorities now also plan to fix these concrete dividers, after the upcoming Saarc summit. “It takes a lot of effort to put these dividers on the street, which might even require cranes at times. Hence we decided to do it after the international summit,” said a traffic official seeking anonymity.

While the city accidents have significantly decreased over the years due to stern campaigning against drunk drivers, the accidents during the day are still prevalent. The MTPD data shows a total of 1,074 accidents in seven months of the current fiscal year, with 23 deaths and 66 major injuries. In 2013-14, there were 4,672 accidents with 143 deaths and 229 major injuries. And in 2012-13, the data read 4,770 accidents with 148 deaths and 246 major injuries.

Authorities also blame the lack of road furniture and adequate road signals to control lane violations. “We have to develop a proper road setting with colourful markings and make the drivers follow it for their own safety,” said Kashiraj Dahal, director general of Department of Transport Management (DoTM). Dahal also thinks that city drivers have not yet been acquainted to the recently developed roads which boast service lanes and expressways”.

Vehicles at top speed is also a major cause of road accidents. According to the Transport Management Regulation, most of the city roads are categorised under the residential city area where the top speed of a vehicle is limited to 40 kilometres per hour. However, no effective implementation has yet been made to monitor and control speed. “We are planning to determine the proper lanes and speed soon, which shall compliment the drivers” added Dahal.

Published: 16-10-2014 09:27

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