Saturday, February 17, 2018
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no place to walk on encroached roads

I would request  IG Dev Kumar  to  order the traffic cops to do something in this connection urgently.  Several years ago Rotarians led by their then President , eye-surgeon R.N.Mishra, stopped cars at certain crossings and painted their headlights.

Dr Mishra, knowing how harmful glaring lights can be to one’s vision, had heeded instantly to  Rover’s  call in this column to do something. But  the heart of the cops  did not melt. I had then requested the traffic officers    to stand in civilian clothes on any busy road in Civil Lines after dusk and try to cross the thoroughfare in a hurry. If an officer takes an elder in the family and asks him to cross the road, the old man will in all likelihood refuse to do so. I want to ask  : Are roads meant only for car owners? Have the pedestrians no right to safe movement? They are being bamboozled from all sides. They can’t walk on pavements because these have been occupied by vendors in spite of Supreme Court’s strict orders to the contrary.  Why aren’t  the roads being made pedestrian friendly ? If headlights are painted half black, as the traffic rules demand, it will be possible for pedestrians to walk on the roads with some confidence.  The IG should intervene. Often traffic cops talk about  examine the eyes of drivers. Checking eye-sight is good beginning. But I want to ask  : What can a good eye-sight do when glaring headlight, falling in one’s eye, temporarily  renders him blind and vulnerable to accidents? Many senior car drivers have told me that they do not drive at night because of the glaring headlights from reckless and defiant drivers and a cowardly police which dare not enforce the rule demanding the half-blackening of the headlights. As one sufferer remarked: ‘They are blackening their image by not half-blackening the headlights’. After a pause he said, ‘But have they any image left?’
Pedestrians, specially the elderly, face another problem—the problem of air pollution caused by the emission of black smoke from the exhaust pipes of some vehicles. Many an elderly person is already suffering from breathing trouble. Fumes from the exhaust pipes add to their trouble which aggravates if they are suffering from asthma. Won’t  the  IG intervene and ask  juniors to undergo practical experience on the roadside instead of wasting time on school lectures?   Their past lectures have had no impact whatsoever. The reckless among the school boys, who are underage, are seen dashing through crowds of girls when a school gets over. If  cops still insist on lecturing the boys, let them  tell the class 12 students of English Medium schools that on Independence Day or Republic Day they should not be seen near St Mary’s Convent and Girls High School. If  Traffic SI stands near one of the schools on these days he will see how recklessly boys drive to attract attention and throwing many pedestrians off guard.

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