There are many traffic safety rules that are to be adhered to when one drives a vehicle. Among these, every driver must be responsible enough to drive with utmost care and avoid causing injury to either other human beings or animals. The Road Traffic Rules establish the meaning of the signals of traffic lights and traffic controllers, road signs, and describe the movements of participants in road traffic.
ORIGIN OF TRAFFIC SIGNAL COLOR SCHEME
Railroad companies chose red as the color for stop, it is thought, because red has for centuries been used to indicate danger. For the other colors, they chose white as the color for go and green as the color for caution.
In an incident in 1914 a red lens fell out of its holder leaving the white light behind it exposed. This ended with a train running a “stop” signal and crashing into another train. Thus, the railroad decided to change it so the green light meant go and a caution “yellow” was chosen, primarily because the color is so distinct from the other two colors used.
ROAD SAFETY SIGNS
Traffic signs give information about the road conditions ahead, provide instructions to be followed at the major crossroads or junctions, warn or guide drivers, and ensure proper functioning of road traffic. A person is supposed to be familiar with the traffic signs and symbols before acquiring a driving license in India.
Type I: Mandatory Signs
To ensure free movement of traffic and make the road users cognizant of certain laws and regulations, restrictions and prohibitions. Violation of these signs is an offense, as per law.
Type II: Cautionary Signs
Make the road users conscious of hazardous conditions on the road beforehand. The drivers, accordingly, take necessary actions to handle the situation.
Type III: Informative Signs
Guide the road users about destinations, distance, alternative routes, and prominent locations like food joints, nearby hospitals, etc.
Pedestrians feel they have the right of way no matter how fast a vehicle is coming towards him/her. By just an inconspicuous move of hand, they expect the vehicle to stop so that they can cross the road.
There are no proper sidewalks to walk on and people can be found walking on the road along with the moving traffic. Even if there are sidewalks, they are infested with hawkers and shoppers, again forcing a pedestrian on the road. Zebra crossings, if present at all, are fading in most of the places and people cross the road from where ever they find it convenient. Apart from causing congestion of traffic, the pedestrians also put their lives in danger.
Inside and outside major cities, roads are often poorly maintained and congested. Even main roads frequently have only two lanes, with poor visibility and inadequate warning markers. On the few divided highways one can expect to meet local transportation traveling in the wrong direction, often without lights.
ALERT TODAY, ALIVE TOMORROW
The poor management of traffic leads to in-effective utilization of road space, which results in commuters jumping from right to left and left to right, where the total traffic movement is a chaos leading to frustration among the commuters. When frustration sets in, it results in more traffic indiscipline.
In Chennai, it takes at least 20 minutes to cross the TIDEL Park signal at the peak office hours. Most of the people do not believe in car pools, and in many cases the status conscious people do not believe in commuting by public transport. Thus one can see a single individual in a car, which seats a minimum of 4 people, driving to the place of work. We do not realize that the more the number of vehicles, the more the traffic jam occurs. Thus increases
- Air and noise pollution.
- Parking woes.
- In case of a/c vehicle, CFC leakages and fuel consumption increases up to 20 % (because of the extra load on the engine).
When it comes to a distance, now-a-days people talk in terms of time taken rather than in terms of kilometers. We need to discipline ourselves to respect the Law and do the common sense things well. We need to learn to manage our emotions and not contribute to road rage while stuck in traffic jams. Let us strive our best to make our roads a safe place to travel.
DON’T LEARN THE TRAFFIC RULES BY ACCIDENT!