NH-48 in Gurugram: Over 3,000 truck drivers penalised for not adhering to lane driving
Over 3,000 truck drivers were penalised between September 3 and 18 in a special drive held by the Gurugram traffic police to enforce lane driving on National Highway-48 (NH-48) and ensure that heavy vehicles are driven on designated lanes, officials said. The drive was held on a 40-kilometre section of the highway, between Sirhaul toll and Bilaspur Kalan.
Police officials said that this is the first such drive conducted to check lane driving.
The deputy commissioner of police (DCP) for traffic, Ravinder Singh Tomar, said that the drive was held after it was observed last month that heavy vehicles, allowed to ply between 10pm and 6am, caused traffic jams on the highway by plying on all lanes of the main carriageway.
According to Tomar, “practically, none of the heavy vehicle drivers were abiding with the left lane driving rule.” A violation of the rules invites a penalty of ₹5,000.
“Our marshalls on ground realised that trucks, dumpers, mixtures and buses were not driving on the left-most carriageway as they do on the NH-48 part falling under Delhi. This was resulting in accidents and congestion. We first started with an awareness programme, erecting signs across the highways, after which the heavy vehicle drivers were penalised starting September 3, to ensure they maintain lane discipline in future,” Tomar said.
Tomar said that the main rationale behind the drive was to check accidents, haphazard driving and ensuring traffic moves in a streamlined manner.
“Since the launch of the drive, the situation on NH-48 has improved drastically. There has been 70-80% improvement in traffic movement. In the pilot phase of the drive, we are only covering the NH-48 stretch as it has the highest movement of heavy vehicles. From next month, we will cover other major roads across the city,” Tomar said.
Tomar said that on all national highways, the leftmost lanes are reserved for the heaviest and slowest moving vehicles, the middle lanes for movement of light vehicles, while the rightmost lane is used for speeding vehicles and for overtaking.
Around 12,000-15,000 heavy vehicles cross the Kherki Daula toll every day.
Sewa Ram, an associate professor and urban transports systems design expert with the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi, said that to implement lane discipline, it is vital that road markings are proper and light vehicles taking a left turn, during the movement of heavy vehicles, are also aware of this rule.
“For effective enforcement, the lanes should be properly painted, road signage properly erected, and not obstructed by trees and poles. Further, traffic police also need to educate and spread awareness among light vehicle drivers that the left-most lane carriageway is reserved for heavy vehicles, and they shouldn’t unnecessarily occupy that carriageway. Further, awareness will also assist light vehicle drivers in being wary, while taking a left cut on the highway,” Ram said.