2.29.2008

Jump with joy, but not at Traffic signals

People in Bangalore are considered experts of the phrase "Swalpa Adjust Madi" but this phenomenon has just transcended certain levels of extremity. What can be more immature than expecting a traffic cop to be present at every traffic signal in the city 24/7. If they are not then people behave like cows on the road, moving and swaying uncontrollably. More and more people are jumping traffic signals in a race to nowhere, as soon as they see that there is no white and khaki uniform around. I will give you a prime example of the signal at ISRO on Airport Road. Anybody who has come on that stretch of Airport Road knows that as soon as the traffic cops go off the people on the road become blind to the glaring traffic signals. And this at the cost of even causing accidents at that spot because its a T junction. They dont even reduce speed while cutting across signals!
There are a few times when the trafiic signals do not work and people rant their fury about how the traffic controllers are causing havoc in the city. While it is true that traffic signals dont work a few times on congested roads, it is a rarity. It is an exception and not the rule.
When will the same people jog their memory and come up with the number of times they have jumped a traffic signal in order to arrive a nanosecond earlier or maybe there was no motivation?
T is a stickler to traffic rules (atleast the basic etiquettes on road) and hates jumping a signal. But everytime he stops (rightfully) at a red light, when there is no traffic cop around, he gets booed into motion by the surge of accelerators behind him and the blare of horns. Many a time he stands his ground and acts deaf (to all the taunts and scoldings which are spewed by others!!) but there have been times when he has had to jump too. Its a democracy after all and minority has not much ground.
There needs to be setup a network of cameras at each traffic junction and pictures of traffic offenders should be taken with the brightest of flashes so that it serves as a warning to others. I think the Manipal Hospital signal has gained some semblance of order after the camera was setup atop the hospital. But these measures need investment from the government. And it takes time. Meanwhile as part of a fast developing country, we the people should start being mature and humane as commuters and drivers. It is not only our own lives we need to safeguard but also of the multitude of people sharing the same road. Spare a thought for all. You never know which innocent person is coming unsuspectingly in your path as you are breaking traffic rules. Set an example. Be an organised traffic freak.
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