Driving on the wrong side of the road to make the commute easier has become a standard excuse among motorists but at Shivaji Chowk, Hinjewadi, offenders take to breaking the rule even when they aren’t stuck in choc-a-bloc traffic.
Local residents and regular commuters state that the stretch between Bhujbal Chowk and Shivaji Chowk sees busiest traffic as vehicles move towards Rajiv Gandhi IT Park in Hinjewadi. Marunjigaon resident SunRoy said traffic at the inter ny Roy said traffic at the intersection surges in conjunction with office hours. “There is major congestion at Shivaji Chowk during morning and evening hours when the IT employees head towards and leave from their offices. Many commuters travel in the wrong direction to get to Shivaji Chowk. Minor accidents have become common here,“ he said.
Roy stated that an accident is reported at the traffic junction nearly every week. “The signal is heavily congested during morning and evening peak hours, so many two-wheeler riders coming from Wakad Bridge travel in the wrong direction to cross the junction quickly. Sometimes, even threeand fourwheelers do the same thing.The police catch hold of such motorists but that doesn’t stop the violators,“ he added.
Driving on the wrong side of the road also causes problems for commuters using public transport. Bharat Jagtap travels between Narhegaon and Aundh by PMPML buses and crosses Shivaji Chowk in transit. “There are days when motorists going the wrong way cause the bus to be delayed, as it has to wait to until the road is clear to move ahead,“ he told TOI. The traffic police too do their bit but the personnel deployed here is frustrated due to the number of commuters going the wrong way . “Ignoring traffic rules has become a habit with commuters on this stretch. I see between 7080 such violators every morning. On an average we challan 30 or more each day for wrong-side driving,“ said a woman traffic constable .
“When we stop them, I recognise some of them since they’re repeat offenders.They give an excuse that they need to quickly reach the fuel pump nearby or that they had parked the vehicle barely 10 metres ahead on the road and the U-turn is too far away ,“ she said, adding that it is tiring to remind every offender that their actions can cause harm to them someday .
The action against people driving on the wrong side must be a sustained effort for a long period of time.Usually such drives peter off after the initial enthusiasm and things go back to the square one. The present action by the traffic police seems to be showing some results. So, it is important to keep it that way.The alarmingly high number of traffic violations has made the roads unsafe and the increasing aggression by the offenders when pulled up has added to the worry. The unruly behaviour must be checked in time to restore order on the city roads.
Source : TOI