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Bengaluru police to get strict with lane discipline on airport road to reduce accidents

Traffic police plans a campaign to make two-wheelers, autorickshaws stick to the slow lane on the left.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 01, 2019, 11.43 AM IST
In the past, the traffic police had organised campaigns against reckless driving, wheeling, helmetless riding and driving without wearing seat belts.

BENGALURU: Much as lane discipline is wanting on all roads, the Bengaluru city police is making a start by enforcing it on the road to Kempegowda International Airport. The 30-plus -kilometre stretch, infamous for road fatalities, will see the launch of a #KeepLeft campaign to urge slow moving and vulnerable vehicles — such as two-wheelers and autorickshaws — to stick to the left (slow) lane and allow fast-moving vehicles to pass on the faster, right-side lane.

“We want to bring down the number of accidents across the city, including on the airport road. The department, during consultation with cab drivers’ and auto rickshaw drivers’ associations, felt the need for a prolonged campaign on lane discipline. Our staff is preparing posters and signboards. The campaign will be launched in a week’s time,” P Harishekaran, additional commissioner of police (traffic), told ET.

The department, he said, is also in talks with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure the success of the campaign. “There are about 46 black spots in the city where accidents keep happening. The airport road is one of them. Initially, we will deploy additional manpower to create awareness about the drive,” he said. The right lane is meant for vehicles that drive at 80 kmph and will be dedicated to cars. Violators of lane discipline will be penalised, he said.

Police records indicate that road accidents claim at least two lives in the city every day. Between January and May, Bengaluru registered over 1,955 road accidents in which 307 people were killed. Most accidents were reported in Yelahanka, KR Puram, Peenya and Electronic City.

In the past, the traffic police had organised campaigns against reckless driving, wheeling, helmetless riding and driving without wearing seat belts. The drive, police said, resulted in a massive compliance rate. This year, over 1.3 lakh motorists were fined for violating lane discipline and overtaking from the left.

Cab drivers’ unions and road safety proponents believe such campaigns are necessary to ensure traffic discipline and reduce road accidents. Bengaluru Tourist Taxi Operators Association president Radhakrishna Holla called for frequent safety campaigns. “From checking lane discipline to overspeeding, the airport road expressway desperately needs traffic enforcement and a massive campaign,” he said.

Sunish Jauhari, founder of Concern for Road Safety and Pedestrian Safety said this measure would end up being adhoc if it is not taken up on all roads. “We cannot expect people’s behaviour to change just on the airport road. The campaign should be across all roads. Now, cab aggregators like Ola and Uber have the ability to install sensors in cars to understand if the driver follows traffic rules. Hence, the police should also involve stakeholders to ensure the success of the campaign,” he said.
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