Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where is the amber, ask motorists

Where is the amber, ask motorists

Traffic signals go red from green without flashing amber At several places in the city

Amitha Trikha and Naida Henry. Bangalore



Stop says the red light, go says the green, be careful says the yellow light, flashing in between," goes a famous nursery rhyme.
At several busy junctions in the city, the traffic signals seldom flash the amber light. Instead, they turn red from green and vice versa, giving motorists no chance but to either jump the light at the risk of being penalised or getting rear-ended by the vehicle behind.
At Vellara and MG Road-Brigade Road junctions, the signals turned green from red, giving motorists little time to start the engines and move ahead. The delay in moving resulted in high-decibel honking.
The scene was the same at the Mayo Hall junction and ASC Centre on Richmond Road-Old Airport Road intersection.
Motorists said the absence of amber light gave the traffic police an excuse to slap penalty on them for jumping the light. Though the motorists were surprised by the green light turning red, they seldom apply the brakes, fearing the vehicle following them would not stop on time to avoid an accident.
"Half the city has proper signals, while the busiest ones change directly from red to green. It is a system malfunction. At times we are even fined for something that isn't our fault," Salik Zaffer, a student of CMS College, said.
Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Praveen Sood said that according to regulations, the signals should to go from green to amber then red, and vice versa. "If any of the signals does not follow this pattern, it is a case of malfunction, which will be rectified," he said.
He added that people had a wrong notion that they could drive while the signal shows amber. "There are many people who argue with the police saying they had crossed the signal when it was amber. We can't help but slap a fine on them as jumping amber is as good as ignoring the red signal," Sood said.
The amber signal, which flashes for three seconds, is meant for vehicles caught in the middle to clear the junction, before the traffic moves in from the other side of the road.

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