Monday, September 22, 2008

Traffic Rules? - Not A Rule!

The morning hours of Hyderabad are maddening. Especially at the gateways of cyber hub, to me they sound like gateways of hell. For one thing; the rush hour traffic that starts from the Banjara hills Road No 37 junction stretching past the roads of Madhapur till the Cyberabad is always irksome.

More annoying are the cab drivers that keep honking all the way, behaving as if they are the only ones expected to reach their pick-up/drop-off points in the entire crazy city on a Monday morning. They don’t seem to stop, until you go deaf and your ears hear no more than a bee-hum, a probable lull after a storm effect.

IT hub - collates a bunch of do-alike & do-similar, competent & master-minded software engineering - products and projects based skyscrapers, getting commercialized and customized hour-by-hour; is definitely a welcoming arena for folks of the same professional kinship but different geographical locations to flock together to work, now that’s yet another reason to the already suffocating number of cars with inches as distances to separate them and in some cases you even witness the inseparable bumper-kissing-mania envisaging the sticky and breathless atmosphere created due to countless number of vehicles coughing and sneezing to exhale their hazardous and noxious vapors as a result of excessively combusted fuel that’s usually an outcome of the idle engines at the indefinitely long stoplights or at the lengthy hold-ups at turnings & crossings due to the overwhelmingly disproportionate mass of vehicle population! bah!

It’s not just Chennai but more so for Hyderabad which revealed the shocking notions of traffic cops. The word traffic police means the civil force representing our central at the first level, percolating further down to the state level to maintain law & order which involved instructing the movement of vehicles on road and ensuring safety of the travelers, passengers & pedestrians by setting-up regulatory norms for the vehicular traffic moving to/fro and up/down. I couldn’t unfortunately be lucky enough find that place of the world where in its ingested or inscribed in any lithographic form that the purpose of Police is defined as an alternative source of C-energy (C= Currency) that I could probably have missed; given that I am not much of a world-traveler as yet. Neither is the performance of police evaluated by the number of violation slips that he has to surrender at the end of every day at his office or by the revenue generated out of it in favor of the government. Rather the high accumulation of such infringement affidavits are in reality an ordeal that publicly exhibits the failure of traffic cops and their effectiveness in their work. On similar lines it would also strongly reflect our public's concern for traffic rules in general and also the awareness of the responsibilities to be executed by a traffic cop.

Sadly in India we have plenty of Traffic Rules that half of us are unaware of and hence are hovering over subzero lane discipline or traffic sense for that matter so to speak. Safe driving should not come because of fear of being ticketed or being summoned legally for violation and/or the traffic cop stopping you to empty your wallet to quench his thirst imagining a dream come true of his secret little fetish for that costly booze that he kept ogling at a near by Pub’s display.

What’s probably missing here is the intense exposure of general public to take to the advantage of safe driving. Going back to some of the private bus/van-drivers, some of whom I would like to refer as honking-hooligans are such that they do not care an ounce for other vehicles. They would blow horn until you turn deaf or a stand-in-help associate of such vehicles (whom I also would love to refer to as banging-beefheads) would keep banging the side of their vehicle demanding way for them to traverse through as if in dawdling around the horrid traffic remains our happiness & reason of existence...Psssst!

At some point of time even you would get a shock of your life when a call-center cabby guy cuts past your vehicle and that too from left, without any indication or a honk as a bare minimum expectation and zooms into oblivion within those fearful count of seconds when you are still reeling from the stunning incident. Wonder what the Cops do not questioning or catching hold of such reckless cab drivers who are even daring to drive shabbily with a poster of “How Am I Driving?” Call:XXXXX XXXXX behind their back. Once with fuming anger; I called up to that number to complain profusely about the kind of driving the driver had exhibited only to see call getting lost intermittently every time with a “hello...hello…hello” from a man at the other end when I was only as far as the second sentence with the complaint I wanted to lodge as per the expectation out of that advertisement.

While one drives at the night, yet another painful part is the blinding high beams. It was with a good amount of noble thought and civic sense that drivers at night should not blind the upcoming-driver on the opposite direction, that the Government insisted the use of half-blackened headlights and a restriction of use of high-beams during nights. The same social wisdom was put into application when the government banned usage of dark tinted sun-film coats for car windows & windshields that is commonly in use by people for maintaining privacy and a wrong notion to have a better air-conditioner performance which is in practice actually being used for a lot of illegitimate purposes. These kinds of sensible law-making are however, to our distress, soon become law-breaking and further on to law-cracking by the makers themselves with their kinship strongly anchored with corruption.

And then the roads, how the state conglomerate decides so precisely to dig-up a freshly laid roads is a puzzle that only the city roadways officials can probably try answering.
There will be package of surprises waiting for you on your daily travel to a known destination lets say office, for an instance, where by suddenly beaten out-of-shape roads turn their ugly face on you with innumerable potholes give you an effect of break-dance while you are still driving.

Share-Auto folks must definitely be remembered and honored for their magnanimous presence to cause increasing concerns over breaking traffic rules and for committing those unforeseen errors while driving leading to unexpected mishaps! Drivers of these Share-Auto’s come in various sizes & shapes some are less than 13 kids while some are nearing twenty teens, on the other hand we even get to witness above 65 drivers all of them working in unison to cause troubles to the other vehicles on the traffic by twisting and turning exercises that they employ for maneuvering their vehicle. I also pity the passengers of such 7 seaters, who on all occasions are forced to hold their heart in their mouth till they reach their destination with out being grated or shoved to a place that’s neither here nor there!

There can be only one solution to this blame-game of who’s responsible for this malignant bad-traffic syndrome, that is to bring about stringent traffic rules, I suspect if my voice would be audible enough to be heard by some responsible souls serving the Central or State Government Authorities. I hope and pray - May sanity prevail on the drivers of various automobiles and also on the traffic cops to be active in penalizing the defaulters!

No comments: