Archive for the ‘traffic rules’ Category

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is about to fly into Pune for a bankers’ meet a few days from now and the roads all along the route are being spruced up. A fresh coat of paint here, a fresh roll of tar there and the hedges are being trimmed.

Pune is being made a Swachha city for the big day with the trash being pushed out of sight. The approach road to my place, which goes right past the venue, has suddenly got a cement patch with the dividers having appeared almost by magic. Funnily, the white dividers stop midway along the road almost as if the guy who was drawing it decided that it would go only as far as Mr Modi’s vision would permit!

More interestingly, traffic at intersections is being forced to stay behind the white line. For the Punekar who abhors traffic rules it must be doubly frustrating. But do not worry, the torture will only last a few days. And that is what this blog is about.

With due apologies to the much revered Lokmanya Tilak, many vehicle owners and pedestrians in Pune believe that breaking the law is their birthright! I consider myself a law abiding citizen when I am behind the wheel of a car or walking on the road. I don’t know if that also makes me stupid. There’s a huge number in the city that refuses to follow traffic rules and having lived in the city most of my life that should have become a part of my nature too by now. Thankfully, it has not.

The complete disregard for the law by the Punekar is appalling. They actually believe that they are within their rights to do so and no one, not even the police, can do a damn thing about it. I used to think that only in Delhi motorists honk to force you to cross the red light because they want to go. Today, I can honestly say that Pune has gone far ahead of the national capital in this aspect. Take any intersection, even in the cantonment, vehicle owners do not even slow down if they see a cop. They just speed through, and the cop looks on helplessly.

The pedestrian is not far behind. At the Swargate Bus stand crossing, probably the busiest in the city, there are at least four constables on duty, but not one stops  the pedestrian who brazenly strolls across even as the oncoming traffic begins to move. So while looking out for two-wheeler riders in the maze one has to dodge pedestrians as well. On the bridge that connects Tilak Road to Deccan Gymkhana, there is a wide footpath on either sie of the bridge, but people will still walk on the road. I’ve always wondered why. Can someone enlighten me? And these are not isolated examples.

And to add to the confusion, at times, is the Pune Traffic Police. In April 2012, the Supreme Court passed an order banning tinted glasses on car windows. The Pune Police then announced that they were going to “strictly implement” the ban. Of course, everything petered out after a few days of frenzied activity I later heard some convoluted explanation of percentage of tint or whatever and things eased off.

Suddenly two years later, they again announced that they were going to “strictly implement” the two-year old order. I finally decided to remove the film from my car instead of being hauled up by some enthusiastic traffic policeman who would insult me with “If senior journalists like you do this, what can we tell the common man?”. As I drove around looking for a dealer who would pull out the film I got stopped thrice. I was not fined because I told the cop that I was looking for a dealer for the very purpose. Two days after removing the film, I drove to Deccan Gymkhana and noticed the absence of any traffic policemen “strictly implementing” the law.

So my question is why does the Pune Police start something they either cannot do, or are unable to take to its logical conclusion? I understand that the decision is in pursuance of a Supreme Court ruling, so they should either take it to the logical end or stop wasting their and our time. It’s just like the crash helmet rule. Very few months it pops and the goes back on the shelf. They have launched various grand plans to improve the city’s traffic which after a week or so die a silent death.

I would be much happier if they threw up their hands and told the State government that there is nothing they can do unless they get the manpower and the infrastructure. I think the reason why ministers, MPs and MLAs never do anything is because they are never stuck in traffic, so they think everything is running just perfectly. So I hope and pray that one day the chief minister is in town and he gets stuck in a traffic jam on Jangli Maharaj Road or Tilak Road! Why the state government does not step in and help the Pune Traffic Police or for that matter police in every city, is a mystery to me. Pune has sent all its MLAs from the ruling party to the Vidhan Sabha. Can we expect something from them except homilies? Will Guardian Minister Girish Bapat do something>

Secondly, how is it that only the one class of people is caught? How about nailing the VIP and VVIP motorists driving those monster SUVs, Jaguars, Land Rovers, BMWs and Mercs? And let’s not forget the vehicles of politicians and the government officials. Have you see any policemen pulling up these motorists lately? Or are they exempt from the rule? So I see all those fancy cars zip around with pitch black film and I am left cursing my diligence!

But coming back to the prime minister’s visit, did it have to take that to force the Pune Traffic Police to make Punekars follow traffic rules? Before someone starts to think I am running down the traffic police, let me clarify, I have total respect for the people in khakhi. I know they are doing a difficult job because they are strapped for manpower and the number of vehicles is increasing at a scary rate which they have no control over.

When I read that Pune Traffic Police has collected quite a few crores as fines from erring vehicle owners for various offences, what it tells me apart from the obvious is that Pune is a city where law breakers seem to have a free run. They do not care about traffic rules and (more importantly) have no fear for the traffic policemen, who try valiantly to bring some sense into the madness – and fail.

So, in the end, it took a prime ministerial visit for the inept and slothful Pune Municipal Corporation to spring into action. Now if only this was done on a permanent basis! Maybe, Prime Minister Modi should come to Pune every other week and drive around the city for his viewing pleasure and see the mess unfolding before his very eyes!


I don't know the source of this picture, and will happily give them credit.  But it really puts in a nutshell the issue being discussed here.

I don’t know the source of this picture, and will happily give them credit. But it really puts in a nutshell the issue being discussed here.

So the Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol finally articulated what a lot of us have been saying for years – that Pune’s vehicle owners lack traffic sense and discipline. Earlier, we used to joke that Pune’s traffic has become so bad because of the influx of North Indians, especially motorists from Delhi. But that comment was made more in jest because the national capital has become everyone’s favourite punching bag when it comes to issues about crimes against women or even bad drivers.

However, for Pune’s top cop to make such a statement also mirrors the frustration of the police force in being unable to control the menace of rash driving. Just the other day, while discussing the future of the Buddh Formula 1 circuit in Noida, after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone pulled out of India, my colleague at the sports desk was telling me about how the race track was doing just fine even without the annual jamboree. It seems the rich and famous from Delhi and the NCR pay out a fancy sum to race their Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis and other mean machines at the Buddh circuit because the roads in Delhi are really not the place where they can keep their foot down on the accelerator! Even there, one has to follow some rules.

But that is Delhi and we aren’t talking mean machines. We are talking about the citizens of Pune using the roads like it is their private racing track, with utter disregard for the law. That there has been a huge spurt in the number of vehicles – both of the two and four-wheeler kind – seen in the city, is obvious. The police chief said there were 12 lakh more vehicles in Pune as compared to Mumbai and everyday 931 vehicles are being added to that number. A few months ago I used to cover the distance of approximately 14 kms from my home to office in 30 to 40 minutes. Today the same distance takes me between 60 and 90 minutes. It’s surely not the state of the roads or the number if vehicles that are alone to blame. It is also the idiot on the road who believes traffic rules are meant for Martians and not Earthlings.

So while I still wait at the traffic intersection behind the zebra crossing, for the lights to turn green, I find others, driving past utterly contemptuous of the law. I also see Pune Police personnel looking on impassively, probably frustrated, because they also know there’s nothing much they can do except penalise someone. And then should they spend their time worrying about directing traffic on a busy intersection or waste time cutting a receipt? That is when you realise that it is not just the citizen, but even the law is an ass.

With nothing stricter than a few hundred rupees as a penalty for flouting traffic rules, no one really cares. Six hundred rupees is the maximum penalty and that is for not carrying valid insurance papers! For offences related to driving alone the fines range from 100 to 500 bucks. Sure you can go to jail for killing someone, but that is an extreme case and even then, it is a bailable offence. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out why vehicle owners use the roads the way they do. Hundred rupees is small change today for most people. It means a packet of cigarettes less that day or roughly a litre of petrol less. It’s manageable. Just yesterday I was reading that in PCMC the fines for erring vehicle owners are being upped to between Rs 1000 and Rs 5000. That’s a start.

What the Traffic Police in Pune should do instead is to confiscate not just the licence of the erring vehicle owner, but the vehicle as well and then make the offender travel across town to pay the fine.  For example, if the offence is committed at Swargate, the offender should be told to leave his vehicle at the nearest police station, travel to the RTO at Vishrantwadi or a place even further away to pay Rs 1000 as fine, and only then pick up his vehicle – at his own expense. If the offence is committed at Vishrantwadi tell the offender he or she has to pay a fine at some obscure RTO post or police station at the other end of town. And if that means you’re going to be late for a job interview, too bad…The next time you might think twice before breaking the law.

But are Pune’s errant vehicle owners alone to blame for this mess? At the same event on Wednesday, the police chief spoke about the use of crash helmets. He said there are more accidents in Pune than there are in Mumbai, but people refuse to wear helmets. How many police personnel do you see wearing helmets? I have often seen police vehicles drive on the wrong side of the road, and also ignore a red light. When the police department itself treats the law with such contempt, what do they expect the citizens to do?

Unfortunately, even our politicians who frame legislation are only worried about the impact such harsh laws could have on their vote-bank. Traffic safety and lives lost is not really their concern. It’s the guy who stands in line to vote who is their concern. After all, the dead can’t vote.

The article was written by me when I was working with Car India* magazine, on the state of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, in April 2011. The way accidents are happening even today, it’s obvious nothing much has changed. There have been around 400 deaths on this stretch since 2009. I was asked by a journalist friend to reproduce and document the articles and put them in the public domain. So here goes…


Crouched behind a tripod on which is attached a computerised camera, on the side of the Yashwantrao Chavan Pune-Mumbai expressway, I realise, we live dangerously too. As a car approaches, I train the camera on the car’s registration number plate. I hear a click and look at the screen. It says 142 kmph. Then a cop, quick as a flash, armed with a paper, pen and (obviously) 6/6 vision, notes down the number. He then calls the cops waiting at the toll post ahead and gives them the number. The motorist is then fined.

Of the 100-odd cars that I see hurtling past me, I count just three that are travelling between 80-90 kmph . The rest are all doing between 100-160 kmph.

Ironically, there is a sign that greets motorists on the hi-speed highway -“Make driving safe on the expressway.”

India’s first international-class speedway, that connects Pune and Mumbai was made fully operational in April 2002. Not only has it cut down travel time between Mumbai and Pune by almost an hour, it has also made driving a pleasure – until recently. The expressway handles about 30,000 PCUs* daily, and is designed to handle up to 1,000,000 PCUs.

However, what the Highway Police are attempting to do is to nail speeding (one more is in the other lane and two more are under repair). The expressway cost Rs 1,630 crore to build and automatic speed cameras cost around Rs 10 lakh each! The cops, either need at least four times the number, or a state-of-the-art surveillance system. They say they have neither.

But, according to SP, Highways B.G. Shekhar, there are 16 speed guns and 80 breath analysers along the expressway. Just two were sighted when Car India travelled up and down the expressway on two consecutive days. An unnamed police official said there are just six in working condition.

“The proposal to install enforcement cameras and vigilance cameras was submitted in August 2010 and is in the pipeline,” he says. There is also the Rasta Suraksha Abhiyaan that is held at regular intervals to educate drivers. This has reduced fatal accidents by almost 206, he claims.

The writer operates a speed camera and discovers that for every one vehicle that is caught on camera, five get away!

The writer operates a speed camera and discovers that for every one vehicle that is caught on camera, five get away!

In the 443 accidents that have occurred on the expressway in 2010, 101 have been fatal with 103 people having lost their lives. This year (2011), 12 major accidents have occurred so far, as this article goes to print. One software engineer lost his life recently after his car crashed when he was travelling to Mumbai to pick up his wife from Sahar airport; Three people died on February 21, when two trucks brushed past each other and one of them lost control and crashed; in early February, a Wagon -R with at least ten passengers, was hit from the rear by a tempo; nine people died in that mishap. So why has this dream stretch become a nightmare? The reasoning that the casualty figures aren’t as high as some other highways, doesn’t really hold water, because we are not talking about a distance from Mumbai to Agra which is roughly 1,200 kms. We are talking less than 100 kms.

“Since January, 25 people have lost their lives on the expressway or have been brought into the hospital in a critical condition and succumbed to injuries,” says a doctor (name withheld) from the Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi.

The hospital, which is one of the closest to the e-way, gets at least one call per day regarding mishaps on this stretch. A fortnight ago, while returning from Mumbai, two staffers of Car India had a taste of an errant driver in a four-wheel drive, who came perilously close to their vehicle. They laughed it off by saying that he was probably admiring their jeep, but who’s to say he hadn’t fallen asleep on the wheel?

Shekhar says that 75 per cent of the accidents are a result of human error.

Vehicles driven at night are involved in the maximum number of mishaps. There are a number of reasons for this – speeding, tiredness, inexperienced drivers, mechanical failures, disregard for motor vehicle rules, error of judgement etc.

“The State Home Minister realising the seriousness of the situation has sanctioned Rs 320 crore for Emergency Medical Response Teams (EMRT) on the expressway. Ambulances equipped with state-of-the-art services, manned by doctors and nurses, will be within 50 metres of any accident spot and their movements will be controlled by GPS,” he says.

A speed gun measures a car doing 140 kmph on the expressway. All pics by Sanjay Raikar

A speed gun measures a car doing 140 kmph on the expressway. All pics by Sanjay Raikar

But let’s talk about those who use the e-way regularly. How many know and – if they know – care to observe the rule that they should be driving in the middle lane (or Lane No. 2)? The lane to the extreme right (lane No. 1) is ONLY for overtaking vehicles and the one to the extreme left is ONLY for heavy vehicles. On our drive on the e-way we see an MSRTC Shivneri bus and a Volkswagen fight for space, each trying to outdo the other!

Motorists being fined at the Urse Toll Post initially refuse to believe that they are speeding and when shown the evidence try to bluster their way through.

Some of the really absurd answers one hears are “I didn’t know there was a speed limit”; “let us go this time, we won’t speed again”; “I didn’t know the marker that says ‘80’ is a speed limit warning”!

An MP from Pune district has even written to the authorities on February 16, demanding the removal of speed limits. There may be merit in his missive because one can’t expect a BMW, Volkswagen or a Mercedes to travel at 80 kmph. The authorities, realising that automobiles have become faster in the last decade are looking to raise speed limits.

The Highway Police too have a litany of complaints – some justified, some just excuses. Apart from the infrastructure issues mentioned above, there is also the problem of manpower shortage – one man doing the job of four. That is a convenient tool to use when they are confronted with traffic problems on the e-way. Take the problem of parking and stopping on the e-way.

Signboards tell motorists loud and clear that halting is not permitted. But there are trucks and cars parked on either side of the tarmac. Not all of them have broken down. There are trailer/container trucks on the expressway and many of them are not allowed on the e-way. So how are they there?

At the Maruti Mandir on the way down towards Mumbai, there is a line of trucks parked, leaving very little space for other vehicles. The reason? There is a tea shop next to the mandir, where truckers make a pit stop for a cuppa! What’s a tea shop doing there, bang opposite of which is the Highway Traffic Police Post? It is alleged that the tea stall owner has political connections and any attempt to move him from his perch is met with ‘resistance’ So he stays put.

There are also incidents of vehicles being driven on the wrong side. Apart from four-wheelers, the biggest culprits are the beat marshals and cops on two-wheelers. Or are they exempt from the rules? More importantly, why are they riding motorcycles, when two-wheelers are banned on the e-way? Shouldn’t ‘charity’ begin at home? Incidentally, two police jeeps are lying in the workshop, one for over a year and the other for six months. The government claims it does not have the funds!

However, some cops not wishing to come on record, say that the drivers should be made to pay hefty fines along with the toll. They have asked for a steep rise in penalties for speeding and rash driving. But these demands are still pending with the higher authorities, they claim. So until that happens, passengers continue to live dangerously and flirt with death on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, because drivers don’t believe in following the rules.

*PCU – is a metric used in Transportation Engineering, to assess traffic-flow rate on a highway.

* All pics by Sanjay Raikar

(Reproduced with permission from Next Gen Publishing) 

Another young life was snuffed out late last night – this one a cousin of my student – when a 21 year-old youth was thrown off the bike he was riding pillion on, when the bike collided against a bus. Every day, one picks up the newspaper and reads about two-wheeler riders being killed and the last line in the report invariably reads: The deceased was not wearing a crash helmet.

How many lives have been lost on the city’s roads to reckless driving either by the victim or the offender, is now beyond count. What was the fault of the kid sitting pillion on a two-wheeler, who lost his life? Whether it was the bus driver’s fault or the two-wheeler rider’s is really secondary now isn’t it? The young man who lost was just another victim of poor road sense and the fact that he didn’t have on a crash helmet.

A year or so ago, the local tabloid launched a huge campaign for the use of crash helmets, but like all other campaigns in this regard, this one too fell by the wayside and died a silent death. Aren’t crash helmets mandatory in so many other cities in the country? So, who is opposing this move so vehemently and why?

I joined a Facebook page launched by the Pune Traffic Police because I thought that they were finally doing something. Two months later I left the site in disgust, because all I saw on the page was how much money they had collected in fines in a week or a month, or grand moves for a new logo or something equally inconsequential. There seemed to be no effort by them to implement traffic rules or even bring about some semblance of order in the city’s traffic. They seemed to be on a grand PR exercise.

For example they had a drive to stop the use of fancy number plates and a couple of weeks ago I saw a report in the Pune Mirror which showed pictures of fancy number plates still in existence on cars owned by politicians or their friends. So basically the rules were not for the rich and influential. I also read that the traffic police had stated that they could not impose the helmet rule in the city. Why? They have no answers.

Pune has been voted the most accident-prone city in the country, when it comes to two-wheelers. Yet the administration has refused to make crash helmets mandatory. What stops them – a lack of will or pure indifference? Or are they waiting for the child of a VIP to get killed before they take action?

I have myself been involved in two-wheeler crashes and not every time was it my fault. But I survived only because of my helmet. Once it was right in front of Mobos opposite Wadia College. A friend and I were on our way to the airport on a scooter and we were hit from the rear by a speeding jeep trying to overtake a PMT bus which was behind us. We both fell off, and while he managed to get up quickly I couldn’t and rolled towards the oncoming bus. Fortunately for me the bus driver applied his brakes. Both of us had on helmets and I’d like to think it saved our lives as we hit the road.

Not a day goes by without my car being either nudged or bumped into by some two-wheeler rider. It has now come to a stage where I have to drive at below 40 kmph at most times because that a*****e (and I’m sorry there’s no other word to describe the errant rider or driver) is too busy either impressing his girl friend, chatting on his mobile phone or cutting lanes, without bothering about the traffic around him.

Flirting with death can only bring about one result. Why wait for that happen?

This morning I was on my way to SIMC, Lavale, when at the intersection near the Bombay Engineering and Group (BEG) on Deccan College Road, I saw a young girl on a scooter with a look that really captured the mood of most people in the city. It was one of complete resignation, tiredness. This is what we have been reduced to.

Sometime earlier, in jest I told my wife that one of these days I was going to step out of the car with the crowbar I keep under the seat and smash the headlight of the car behind me if the driver honks. But there have been days I’ve actually felt like doing something drastic to the guy in the car behind mine! For example, I can’t understand why people honk in a traffic jam or a traffic intersection. When they honk do they expect that my car and I will like Mary Poppins and her damn umbrella, just rise in the air and fly over the traffic? Since I am not the violent type, all I do is swear at the guy from within the confines of my car, with the glass rolled up. My wife says she can’t see the point in swearing at someone who can’t hear a word! My reply is it makes me feel a lot better!!

But about a year ago I was at a railway crossing in the city waiting for the gates to go up. A car drove up behind mine and started honking. For a second I thought the gates had gone up, but it hadn’t. Then after a while the car honked again. This happened a few times after which I lost my cool. I stepped out, walked back the car and saw a lady inside, told her to roll down the window and gave her a mouthful. I then walked back to my car and waited for the gates to open. There was no more honking, not even when the gates were opened!

Take what happened last month and is continuing to date. Idea Cellular has problems with their billing system and I get calls every few days telling me that my calls will be blocked if I don’t pay my bill. I settled my bills on the 24th of last month! Every time I get a call from them I go through the whole exercise of explaining the issue and they say, “Ok Sir, the issue has been resolved.” Later in the day or the next day I get call from Idea Cellular telling me that my bills are still unpaid! Ideally (no pun intended) I would like to go over to the Idea office and shake them up, but after the time I spend travelling and lecturing, I am in no mood to argue with some idiotic billing clerk who doesn’t know her mobile phone from her lipstick.

Yesterday, as I drove to Lavale from Viman Nagar I saw smartly dressed policemen stationed every 400 metres all along the route. They were in attendance for the crown prince of Indian politics – Rahul Gandhi, who was in the city. Where do these uniformed gentry disappear to when it comes to manning the traffic when we need them and saving us from these torturous journeys?

And then there was the traffic cop who tried to levy a fine because I had parked my car in an area which he claimed was a ‘No Parking’ zone. I asked him to show me a ‘No Parking’ sign anywhere on the road and when he realised there wasn’t any he resorted to some old fashioned ‘dada-giri’. By then other car owners who were also about to be penalised gathered there and raised a hue and cry. The cop had to beat a hasty retreat. Not for one moment am I suggesting that Pune’s Traffic Police is not doing their job. I know they are terribly understaffed and underpaid. But if they enforced road discipline systematically instead of cosmetically, things would be so much better.

So coming back to the girl on the scooter…she was waiting for the light to turn green, her chin cupped in her palm, her elbow resting on the dashboard of her scooter. It was her face that caught my attention. For one so young she had a look that said “I’d rather be someplace else.” I understood that look completely. I travel three hours every day shuttling between the places I lecture. And it’s not the distance but the journey that frustrates me. If that isn’t bad enough, I have to listen to crap from the telephone man to the traffic cop, avoid errant drivers and lunatics on two wheelers, ans listen to neighbours squabbling over either the elevator in the building or the minimal rise in Society fees. It make me wonder how I still keep my sanity around me.

Lokmanya Tilak might have uttered the famous words “Swaraj is my birthright,” but people in our country have taken that one step further. They break the law and think it’s their right!

I’ve been reading with interest all the reports and articles on the new traffic plan that the Pune Police has implemented to ease congestion on the roads. “Don’t have a left turn here… don’t allow right turn there… don’t have a bus stop here…don’t have road dividers here…” we can read it all in the newspapers. Columns, opinions, letters, reports – you name it, they are all there. Everyone who is someone in the city is voicing his or her opinion on the issue and where else can they do it but in the ever willing media. So here is my two cents worth…

Everywhere in the world there are traffic laws and everywhere people follow them diligently – except in our country. Drive on any road anywhere in the country and you will see how vehicle owners use the roads, and Pune is no exception.

I might be painting myself in a corner here, but I think apart from Delhi, Pune has the most number of uneducated (in terms of traffic rules), and ill-mannered vehicle owners. That is not to say that everyone who owns a vehicle is a lout, but they will soon be a helpless and powerless minority. There are a burgeoning number of vehicle owners in Pune who believe that they can get away with anything – even causing mayhem– on the roads.

Everyone who’s been complaining about the problem with the new traffic diversions in Pune and blaming the Traffic Police for it should realise that the problem lies elsewhere – with us, our skewed driving sense, and our blatant disregard for the law.

Stop at any traffic intersection and what do you see? Vehicles parked over the pedestrian crossing instead of behind it, and worse making an additional two lanes right in the way of oncoming traffic. Actually these idiots do it with pride. Garv se kaho hum idiot hain!

The Traffic Police can also solve the problem in a few weeks. They forced people to put on their seat belts didn’t they, so what stops them for enforcing the law now? If we observed lane discipline, more than more half the traffic problems in this city will cease to exist. Peak-hour traffic may be slow but at least there will be order.

Yes, yes, I know what some of my friends will say – too many vehicles on the road, stop the Nano, etc etc. Even if we halve the traffic in this city, these problems will still not go away. And we know why… We may or may not be able to do something about the ever increasing number of vehicles in the city. But we can surely do something to reduce the chaos that unfolds on the roads every day.

I was in Pune’s Deccan Gymkhana a few days back in the midst of chaos. As I sat in my car waiting for things to return to normal, I realised it was no use blaming only the police. I saw a private bus which was on the extreme left coolly cut across to the right, almost hitting a car and holding up traffic. I also saw a two-wheeler rider scrape past a car from the left unconcerned that he had damaged another vehicle. So many vehicle owners are not even aware that overtaking from the left is an offence!

See how people have refused to accept the crash-helmet rule. I’ve heard some really bizarre excuses from those who want to avoid wearing helmets – can’t hear the traffic noise; spoils the hair; perspire too much; whistling sound in the ears; safety clip chokes us; and the list is endless. That it can save your life doesn’t outweigh all those cockeyed excuses.

I once saw an accident near RSI where an ST bus knocked down a girl who was overtaking from the left. It was clearly the girl’s fault, but the bystanders roughed up the bus driver. Like always ‘well-wishers’’ crawled out from somewhere to execute summary justice on behalf of the accident victim. Someone should have slapped the girl really hard for deliberately breaking a traffic rule, endangering her life and creating a nuisance on a public road.

So let’s stop blaming the Traffic Police in any city. They have a difficult job on their hands and we don’t make it any easier.