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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Hidden, faded road signs pose a challenge to motorists in Chandigarh

578 challans have been issued in the first two weeks of September for taking illegal U-turns

cities Updated: Sep 19, 2019 00:51 IST
Rajanbir Singh
Rajanbir Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
         

Even as the amended Motor Vehicle (MV) Act is being followed as per the act, the road signages in the city leave a lot to be desired, with violators alleging they weren’t sure what rule they were breaking while traffic experts complain that road signages are not as per Indian Road Congress (IRC) at many locations.

Sunny Sharma, who works in an IT company in Mohali, said he was recently challaned for taking an illegal U-turn at the intersection near Centra Mall in Industrial Area Phase 1 but there were no signboards for this at the intersection. “The public is keen to follow the rules, but without the adequate road signs we don’t know what is allowed or not allowed,” he said.

As per data, 578 challans have been issued in the first two weeks of September for taking illegal U-turns even as violators allege that there aren’t enough boards to caution where this is allowed or not allowed. Deputy superintendent of police (DSP, road safety) Jaswinder Singh said that signboards have been installed wherever a U-turn is allowed.

Under the amended MV Act, action can be taken against road contractors for failing to comply with the standards of road design, however, senior traffic police officials said it is the court which is empowered to exercise this power and they won’t be making any recommendations regarding this yet.

Traffic police officials, however, admitted that road signages remain a problem in the city. “Most zebra crossings in the city don’t have signages and we have written to the UT engineering department to install and update road signages. When recarpeting work is carried out, they should also make sure the signages are updated per IRC standards.”

Officials of the UT engineering department said that road signs are put up as per the recommendations of the traffic police and are maintained regularly. “We have not received any communication from them, but more signages will be put up if we are asked,” they said.  

As per Kamal Soi, member, National Road Safety Council, India, the city needs to improve upon its road signage. “Most road signs in the city get hidden behind greenery. If they are not visible, then they are of no use. The road signs that are not hidden also lack reflective tape, and sheet especially in the older sectors which is mandatory as per IRC. The markings should also be made with paint which has night glass beads in it so it reflects light at night, but most markings aren’t made this way and remain faded,” he said.

Umesh Sharma, professor, Punjab Engineering College, said that all signages must be at a specific height and in a specific font so that it is easily readable as per code 67 of the IRC. “The trees planted alongside the roads of the city shouldn’t be a problem if the regulations are followed,” he added.