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Lucknow: Digital screens distracting commuters?

IRC Safety Code- As per the policy, any hoarding/display on roads that distracts drivers should not be allowed

lucknow Updated: Nov 28, 2017 12:39 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Digital screens,Lucknow,IRC Safety Code
The ‘running display screens’ set up on both sides of a foot over bridge (FoB) near a mall appear to distract drivers.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)

The 7-km-long eight-lane Lohia Path stretch provides easy connectivity between cis-Gomti and trans-Gomti areas, but road safety norms seem to have been thrown to the winds here. Hoardings and large digital display screens coming up all across the road could prove to be a hazard for commuters.

The ‘running display screens’ set up on both sides of a foot over bridge (FoB) near a mall appear to distract drivers. “We have been informed about the problem being caused by these screens. The issue is being taken up with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation,” said Ravi Shankar, SP (traffic).

NOT ALLOWED
  • Illuminated ads of the following description are objectionable from the angle of traffic safety and should not be allowed –
  • Advertisements, which contain, include or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent or moving light or lights except those giving public service information such as time, temperature, weather or date, says the policy.
  • “Most of the time, these screens display distracting material instead of displaying time, temperature, weather or date,” said a government functionary who uses the road frequently.

As per the provisions of the Indian Road Congress’s (IRC) policy code, any such hoarding/display on the roads that distracts drivers and leads to traffic hazards should not be allowed.

“Illuminated advertisements of the following description are objectionable from the angle of traffic safety and should not be allowed – advertisements, which contain, include or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent or moving light or lights except those giving public service information such as time, temperature, weather or date,” says the policy.

“Most of the time, these screens display distracting material instead of displaying time, temperature, weather or date,” said a government functionary who uses the road frequently.

The policy further provides for not allowing “Illuminated advertisements of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or impair vision of the driver or pedestrians or which otherwise interfere with any operations of driving...advertisements illuminated in such a way as to obscure or diminish effectiveness of any official traffic sign, device or signal.”

Though the speed limit on most of the city roads, including Lohia Path, has been restricted to 40 km per hour, those driving SUVs or two-wheelers often overspeed – even during peak hours. Worse still, few commuters even drive in the wrong lane.

However, Public Works Division (PWD) chief engineer RP Singh said he was not aware of any safety code of the Indian Road Congress. He said Lohia Path was PWD’s city highway and was listed among ‘other district roads’ category. “We will look into the safety codes and appropriate action will be taken, if required,” added Singh.

The LMC, which has allowed the display screens on the FoB, justified the decision. “I don’t think the display screens are distracting drivers. Such screens are there all along this and other roads in the city. This FoB has been built on public private partnership (PPP) model. We are not aware of any safety code,” said PK Srivastava, additional municipal commissioner.

Ministry of road transport & highways’s policy does not permit advertisement hoardings on national highways/expressways within the Right of Way except informatory signs of public interest such as hospitals, bus stations etc or advertisement of temporary nature announcing local events such as mela, flower show etc.

Under the policy of private sponsorship of road signs and greening of national highways, private entrepreneurs are allowed to depict the name/logo of their company in a sign of specified dimension.

But, a few officials claimed that the IRC code did not apply in municipal limits as traffic within the city moved slower in comparison to that on the national highways.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 12:39 IST