Writing about Indian road users blatantly ignoring traffic rules is extremely easy. Why? Because we've all seen it, a stupendously large number of drivers and riders tend to do it. The situation is so bad that the only way a rogue Indian driver will follow rules is if s/he is threatened by a hefty challan. If it weren't for challans, even more people would jump lights or drive on the wrong side. Over-smart geniuses with little respect for the safety of themselves and others should know that traffic rules are in place for a reason. Now though, Pune has taken a step to deter such defaulters by installing tyre killers. Yep, these things will kill the tyres, but only if don't follow the rules.
How do tyre killers work?
These tyre killers will be something like a speed-breaker but it'll have metal spikes on one side. So, if you're driving or riding in the right direction (that is on the left side of the road), you'll only be slowed down. However, you try to avoid taking a U-turn and think you'll only go a few metres down the wrong side, you've had it. The metal spikes will rip through the tyres. And that, *pause*, will be a much more expensive deal than driving some metres or even kms in the right direction to take a U-turn.
Tyre killers will hopefully deter the people who think it's alright to drive on the wrong side. I'm not very aware of the Pune's traffic conditions as I've never ridden in the city. But let's take the example of Noida.
People remain slightly civilised when driving in Delhi, but the same people turn into hooligans as soon as they cross the border and into Noida, which is Uttar Pradesh. Law enforcement in Noida is extremely flaky and hence a majority of the people don't bat an eye for traffic rules – traffic signals are shamelessly jumped, and two-wheelers and even cars ply on the wrong side of the road with the drivers having no shame in their eyes.
What's worse is that parents too drive on the wrong side to avoid 200-300 metres of drive to the nearest U-turn during school rush hour. This not only proves they're uncivilised themselves ignoring the hassle caused to others, but they're also unknowingly teaching their kids the wrong ways of driving. Learning starts at home. Dear parents, if you don't do it right, India's future (your kids) will never learn to be civilised!
We hail Pune's decision to use drastic measures to curb such wrong side driving and hopefully more cities in the country will adopt the tyre killers for to set goons right. But then, they may also be hazardous for no obvious reason, and you think deeper on the topic, it's disappointing that sharp metal tools have to be used to make Indian road users do the right thing. Respecting the law, having some compassion for fellow road users should come from within, out of respect and as a civilised society, but sadly we're far from that.
Image and video courtesy: Rushlane