Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Chennai City Traffic Travails

Here are some of the problems I see in Chennai city Traffic:
(1) People honking whenever they see a potential traffic obstacle 100 meters away!

(2) People honking for no apparent reason. I guess they feel safe if they keep testing their
horns every now and then.

(3) Honking in a "don't sound horn" zone.

(4) Using air horn in the city traffic (those shrill ones which make people shiver in their seats while driving. A ringing sound stays in your ear for 2-3 minutes after the horn is sounded!)

(5) Overtaking from the left.

(6) Not stopping for an old pedestrians or children who are trying to cross the road.

(7) Not obeying all the common traffic rules like stopping on red and not stopping beyond
the stop line.

(8) The irritating sound/music when a vehicle backs up (songs like “sare jahaan se acha” (national song) to “snegithiye” (tamil movie song) are played!) i.e. when the vehicle is travelling in the reverse gear.

(9) The irritating music when bikes hit the brakes when slowing down.

(10) Buses blowing a bunch of diesel smoke right in the face of the people driving
besides the bus exhaust!

(11) Pollution emanating from the corporation lorries, private lorries and those small vehicles
which carry the garbage (I think they use the old refurbished diesel engines.)

(12) Weird enforcement of traffic rules only when a chief minister or VIPs pass through.

(13) Violation of lane rules for vehicles.

(14) In-your-face (read as aggressive) driving by most of the travel agency car/van drivers.

(15) Non-Emergency Public Works carried out without any safety procedures. The needs of peak hour traffic are totally ignored.

Possible solutions to the problems with Chennai Traffic:


(1) Educate all drivers regarding when to use a horn and when not to use a horn.

(2) It would be great if the most popular TV channels including the state broadcasting corporation (otherwise known as Doordarshan) run ads which educate people on traffic rules.

(3) Ensure the drivers of vehicles go through proper training and learning at their training institutes.

(4) Make the road driving test harder by making the people who apply for a license to drive to take written exam, viva-voce and driving test where they can demonstrate the knowledge of what they learnt.

(5) Catch ‘em young – go to schools to educate the children on road safety and traffic rules and ensure they carry that knowledge through their lives.

(6) Better enforcement of traffic rules should be made. The police should be made accountable and should uphold high moral standards to ensure safety of road users.

(7) Every vehicle must be checked for pollution in a strict manner and should not be allowed to ply on the road if it doesn’t carry a pollution inspection cleared certificate.

(8) Fines for traffic rules violation should be increased to a large amount which should deter people from breaking the rules.

(9) Traffic Enforcers who accept bribes should be punished severely.

(10) Having a “STOP” sign at all intersections is a must. The right of way for the vehicle stopping first at the junction of a STOP sign should be implemented.

(12) Traffic lights and traffic signs should be made visible and clear to all.

(13) Electric (or any non-polluting) Vehicles should be encouraged and a tax break should be provided for those who buy them. (

(14) A practically usable lane system should be provided where there is enough space for such provision.

(15) Vehicles should follow a lane system and maintain a decently comfortable distance between each so that pollution is reduced. (I have noticed that when 3 bikes cram into the same space, the exhaust from each gets inhaled by them. There is no space for the exhaust to travel up. Instead if there is enough space between the vehicles we may avoid having to breathe the exhaust fumes of other vehicles.)


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