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Friday, April 1, 2011

Young pilot feels that strict fines, orientation modules & better traffic plans can propel his dream project


By A Test Pilot
(Part-II)
Implementation of P-108L Concept
Lane Traffic: The vehicles are required to follow their lane depending on the speed of travel and the traffic is to be organized into parallel corridors. Appropriate markings are required on the road to follow speed limits. The faster traffic lane is to be towards the divider and the slower traffic lane is to be at the left of the faster lane. Appropriate markings are required on the lane at least 1 km before the next junction to indicate the direction in which the vehicles are permitted to turn at the next junction. While crossing lanes in the same direction, drivers can shift lanes, but they are required to do so in such a manner that does not cause inconvenience to other drivers. Along with lane discipline, the specified distance between vehicles needs to be maintained. While this is easily implementable for three/four wheeler vehicles, it is important for this to be enforced for two-wheelers also.
Office Hours: The office hours have the maximum traffic density in morning and evening. The only way to reduce traffic density is to reduce the number of vehicles. This can be effectively done by car pool. However, individuals prefer travelling in their own cars for office.  Car pools can be effectively initiated by offering incentives. The lane reserved for Emergency Services can be allowed for those cars accommodating four people during office hours. This would reduce the traffic density and permit faster traffic flow. In case any Emergency Service is required to move during office hours, enough space would be available because of lane discipline for the pooled car to vacate the way of Emergency Service Vehicle.
No Stopping: In order to ensure smooth traffic flow, vehicles are required to be barred from stopping on the main road. Vehicles including auto-rickshaws would be required to stop only in the by-lanes/streets/spaces available off the main road.
Bus/Truck Lane: All buses/trucks would be required to use the left-most lane. If this would require the buses to stop one behind the other because of bus stop of the bus ahead, the buses behind would be required to wait, unless the road has three or more lanes in the same direction.
Changing Lanes: Changing lanes would be permitted without causing inconvenience to adjacent drivers. Since Safe Separation Distance would be maintained between vehicles, it would be convenient for the drivers to change lanes without causing discomfort to other drivers.
More Than Two-Lane Main Road: The above paragraphs have described the concept for a two-lane road. Same concept can be used for greater than two-lane roads also.
Roads Constrained by Space: Where the main road itself is not very wide, the concept can be implemented by allowing the Emergency Services to use the lane in between the traffic moving in opposite directions. That is, the space occupied by the divider would be used by Emergency Services as shown in Fig 1 below.
Fig 1: Emergency Service Vehicle in roads constrained by space.
Non-Powered Vehicles: Non-powered vehicles would be required to use the leftmost lane only. They would be permitted to overtake a stopped bus provided it does not cause inconvenience to the other lane vehicles. Only bicycles can be allowed to use the footpath/pavement.
Actions Required to be Taken: Most of the Traffic Police Commissioners might site reasons of lack of manpower, resources and no support from Government. The first thing for anybody who sees this as an impossible idea is that today, whatever development has happened in India, was thought of as impossible 20 years ago. In spite of the thought process 20 years ago, some people stood for a cause. The result is today we have a Well-Aware Media, Easy Access to Information, Good Network in Telecommunication (Mobiles) and Banks (ATMs) and many more. The result is we have a better, easier and a more convenient life now. All aimed only at making our life filled with Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment.
Hence, without going into reasons for not making it happen, let’s work towards reasons that will make it happen.
Action 1: Let’s assume that nobody knows traffic rules (because nobody follows them the way they are supposed to be). With this assumption, the traffic department should prepare an orientation capsule describing the details of the P-108L. The traffic department should organize compulsory orientation capsule at various locations across the city. Make it mandatory for the citizens to finish this capsule by a specific deadline. (For eg:- All vehicles using Old Airport Road in Bangalore to undergo an orientation capsule mandatorily at designated centers by a specific date). Provide an orientation capsule sticker and make it mandatory for vehicles to display the sticker on their vehicles. (This is only required to initiate implementation. Once done, the Project would become self-sustaining, and the requirement of stickers can be done away with).
Action 2: Declaration of Deadline (Date) by Traffic Commissioner for implementation of this Project area-wise. (For eg:- Project to be implemented at Old Airport Road with effect from a specific date).
Action 3: The full name of the Project is: “We Care for Your Life-108 Lane.” This implies that an individual is absolved of his responsibility to follow the Road Discipline. It is the responsibility of everyone to follow the Project. Hence, although the defaulter needs to be punished, a penalty on the vehicles around the defaulter also needs to be introduced. This can be done by penalties as follows:-
Monetary Fine:  Media displaying pictures daily of one vehicle hindering the implementation of the Project, with the name of Owner. This would be done in collaboration with Traffic Department. Newspaper should display the picture of this vehicle along with owner name on one side. News channels should display the same every evening at 9 pm for 1 minute, since this is the time most Indians watch news. This would cause embarrassment to that individual. Also, linking this with heavy fine would get the rogues in line. (This would be required in the initial stages of the Project. Once implemented, the Project would become self-sustained and this practice can be stopped)
Action 4: This concept should become a part of School Curriculum. It would instill of self-discipline right from a very young age and ultimately, enforce the adults to follow suit.
Conclusion: No value in the world is greater than human life. And this life is not about strangers, but our near and dear ones in our families. Hence, P-108L promises to ensure health, security and conducive environment for our children, parents, and family members to live in. Here is my key recommendations:
1.      Traffic department must initiate actions.
2.      Lane Discipline must be ensured.
3.      Minimum Safe Separation Distance between vehicles must be maintained.
4.      Appropriate markings must be placed on road to follow speed limits.
5.      Appropriate markings to indicate the direction of traffic flow must be marked at least 1 km before the next signal junction.
6. Car pool incentive must be offered in office hours.
(Series concludes. It mainly reflects the traffic scenario in India and the need to improve it. Article posted with minimum editing. Part-1 here)

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