Traffic jams have become a common site in our cities whether big or small. Wherever there is an intersection or a crossing, traffic jam is eminent. Sometimes it is due to a non functional traffic light, sometimes it is due to some repair work going on one side of the road and sometimes it is due to some slow moving traffic light donkey cart or due to the latest addition to our traffic miseries (The Qingqi motor rickshaws) stopping immediately on the busy roads on the very sight of a sawari.
Have we ever thought that what is the basic cause behind all this chaos that we witness all the day while driving on our roads? Is it:
- The lack of patience
- Lack of space on the roads
- Un-operational traffic signals
- Illiterate drivers
- Wide variety of vehicles
- Bad planning, so on and so forth
To me the cure to all the above mentioned problems is the strict implementation of traffic laws. Starting from issuance of traffic license our issuing authorities should ensure that the licenses are issued actually after testing the drivers and educating them about the traffic rules and regulations and not by giving Rs 5000/- to an agent and getting the license at home. This basic step will ensure two things. One the person getting the license will have some road sense before bringing the vehicle on the road and secondly he/she will be able to read and follow the traffic signs and signals.
Then comes the implementation of the laws on the road. It is a world-wide study that widening of the roads is not the cure for traffic problems. It is actually the implementation of laws which can only regulate the traffic and avoid traffic jams. In our country since everybody has a firm belief that everyone can get away with whatever crime/violation he/she commits, people feel pride in violating laws, breaking traffic signals, going against the one way and changing lanes more rapidly than an alternating current can change its polarity. For those of us who has a chance to visit Europe and especially London, do they have wide roads within the city? The answer is NO. There are streets which even have single lane but what they have is strict implementation of law and law abiding drivers. Nobody dares to cross the white line on the road. Nobody dares to cross the signal even if it is 2.00 a.m. in the night.
Even in our country why everybody fastens the seat belt while entering the motorway. Why people avoid frequent lane change, why people use indicators while changing the lanes, why people abide by the speed limits? It’s only because that they know that they will not be able to get away with any of the violations and they will be fined no matter what. So it is only strict implementation of traffic laws which is the only and permanent solution to all our traffic problems. All other solutions like widening of lanes, building of overhead bridges, under passes are solutions to cater for the ever increasing number of vehicles but they cannot ensure discipline on the roads.