The Chandigarh traffic police are finding it hard to make city drivers adhere to lane-driving, about a fortnight after the authorities gave an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana high court on the implementation of such traffic regulation on Jan Marg.
Even the drives to create awareness and issuing challans to erring drivers have failed to steer people towards the concept of lane-driving, police officials connected with the project rued. Motorists do not even follow a simple norm of stopping their vehicles behind zebra crossing, they complained.
DSP (traffic) Vijay Kumar said, "Even a fortnight after the introduction of lane-driving on Jan Marg on a trial basis, motorists are not following the guidelines. The concept can never be a success till motorists support the police endeavour and follow rules diligently."
Lane-driving basically requires earmarking a given road for different categories of traffic, including emergency and heavy vehicles, normal and slow-moving vehicles.
However, there is another side to the story. A study of city roads revealed that most roads were too narrow for police to enforce lane-driving.
On the other hand, residents said that even though the Chandigarh police have introduced lane-driving on a trial basis, they were nevertheless issuing challans to erring drivers without even bothering to create proper awareness among the public.
"First of all, the basic need is to put cycle tracks in place. Till the police are not able to improve the condition of such tracks on Jan Marg, Madhya Marg or Dakshin Marg, the concept of lane-driving cannot be a success," said Rajesh Kumar, who works for a software company. The basic question is to provide space to slow-moving traffic, which was not possible without maintaining cycle tracks, he said.
Agreeing with him, a university student, Arjun Singh, said, "Police have not even cared to check the condition of cycle tracks around the Rose Garden, leading to the Jan Marg, where they have implemented lane-driving on a trial basis."
DSP Negi said efforts were on to widen other city roads by ensuring service lanes and also maintenance of cycle tracks. "Lane-driving on Jan Marg was introduced on a trial basis and it is just at an initial stage. Every new concept has teething problems, which are resolved over a period of time. The problems are being studied and efforts are on to clear the hindrances coming in the way of lane-driving," he said.
Not only narrow roads, but also various modes of transportation with different speeds on city roads are proving to be a headache for the police authorities.
Horse carts, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, cycles, rickshaws and cars, besides heavy vehicles, jostle for space on city roads, leaving these clogged most of the times.
The Chandigarh Police have also come across the fact that drivers of slow-moving vehicles found it uncomfortable and dangerous to drive in the middle of the road.
"We are studying all the facts and will soon come up with a detailed plan to implement lane-driving," assured the DSP.
PLANS TO EXTEND LANE-DRIVING
The Chandigarh Police are planning to extend lane-driving in coming months to Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg and other routes. In six-lane driving, extreme left of the road is kept reserved for heavy public transport and emergency vehicles, central lane for all other vehicular traffic, whereas the extreme right is used for overtaking purposes within prescribed speed limits.
Quoting an example, DSP (traffic) Vijay Kumar said, "When you reach 50 to 100 metres from an intersection or rotary, the central lane is to be used for going straight, and left and right lane for turning left and right, respectively. The driver can switch indicator for right and left movement and turn accordingly."
In four-lane driving, police are working out modalities to demarcate eight-foot area with a white line for slow-moving traffic like two-wheelers and rickshaws. Heavy vehicles would move along the white line whereas the extreme right side of the road would be dedicated to auto-rickshaws and four-wheelers. No overtaking is allowed in four-lane driving.