No-nonsense plan to curb traffic crimes | Daily News

No-nonsense plan to curb traffic crimes

There is absolutely no road safety and traffic discipline in Sri Lanka. Politicians are doing very little to improve the traffic and road safety system. I have noticed the following dangerous hazards on our roads which require immediate action.

Main culprits are private bus drivers and three-wheeler drivers. I wonder whether they have the license or they have bribed to get the license and whether they are human. They seem to think they are above the law.

Private bus drivers are racing to overtake on narrow roads in order to get before the next bus to pick passengers. They are coming close to our vehicles and at a breakneck speed almost knocking us and our children. This is high-level criminal activity.

Three wheeler drivers are giving right signal and turning left or suddenly makes turns without giving adequate notice to the vehicle behind/ on the side or drive closely behind our vehicle without leaving space.

Traffic signals

At traffic signals even before the yellow light goes off and a green light appears, the three-wheelers and buses are taking off.

Traffic signals in some junctions are confusing without signs for a right turn or left turn - There should be simple easily understandable traffic light signals for the average educated driver. There should also be timers (second display) so that drivers know when the green is fading off or coming up.

The criminal bus and three-wheeler drivers must be only primary school educated and should be locked up in jail as they are risking the lives of so many people including breadwinners of families.

I urge the authorities (Legal system, Police and security authorities), Automobile Association and the public to work together and punish them thoroughly so that they will never repeat their crime again. The following action is recommended:

l Obtain the assistance of international community for technical support on formulating solutions to address our traffic and road safety. This can only be done if they are given a comprehensive understanding of our traffic and road safety issues. We could adopt best practices from other countries tailored to our local situation. This could be all done through teleconferencing and there is no need to fly in experts or our personnel visiting such countries.

l Police can take concrete action by having plainclothes policemen like CID to catch these fellows on the road and apply big fine. Then, everything will come to normal within a few days. This is how the system works in the Middle East which is very effective.

l Install plenty of cameras all over the roads to monitor traffic from a central control room.

l All citizens must observe wrongdoings of these criminals and take photos/ film it and immediately inform the police to apprehend them.

l In order to ensure that buses don’t speed against one another, an electronic scheduling of all buses (government and private) should be done to ensure a second bus will start only after a certain time gap after the first bus departure. This will give all bus drivers equal opportunity to pick commuters and earn revenue. Peak hours could be allocated on a rotational roster basis so that all buses gain a slice from this revenue peak.

Corrupt politicians

Why should we citizens suffer due to the lethargy of the authorities? How many parents are crying and have become mentally ill due to the loss of their loved ones in accidents?

We are a nation of good literacy and if we can’t fix these simple matters, then how can we develop.

I have witnessed the traffic and bus flow in London, Sydney, and Paris, Singapore and can tell you how well it is organised using simple technology. Passengers know the exact time of arrival of the bus at a bus station and regular updates are available. Our politicians take nice joy rides to these countries at the cost of foreign governments and NGOs but don't bring back any know how to our country. Instead, our people pay by way of taxes to feed these politicians and families, who in turn enrich themselves with further corruption. A stringent screening process for new political entrants is a must by all political parties and elections commission. A set of comprehensive criteria should be applied in selecting them.

We need the support of the politicians, corporate sector, foreign governments (for aid and technical support with strategies how to solve these issues), general public and Automobile Association and implement a no-nonsense plan to eradicate this. Any problem can be solved if there is strict enforcement.



There are 2 Comments

I fully agree with the points mentioned. However I have seen number of suggestions like this before but it seems no one is bothered. I think we need to change the attitude of Sri Lankans and create more discipline. Without that no change is possible. Just as much politicians or officials make so many plans to change this and still it's the sri lankans who implement them. So again everything comes back to square 1.

Excellent article with suggestions that must be implemented forthwith. Install road safety cameras at salient points to monitor the traffic from a control room and dispense with police on roads as done in other countries. You may be surprised by the revenue from this project thereby eliminating bribes. Send an infringement notice to the owner of the vehicle by post and failing to comply with the penalty fine and impound / clamp vehicle wherever it may be parked. The police must instill lane discipline in drivers who disobey traffic rules.


Add new comment