Odisha government's proposed lane driving rule unlikely as roads not ready

For the disciplined driving, marking of lanes with thermoplastic paint, installation of signage and gantries in every 2 km are necessary besides installation of bollards near the gantries.

Published: 20th September 2021 10:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2021 10:17 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as wrong side driving is a major reason behind the rising road fatalities in Odisha, the State government's proposed lane driving to reduce deaths on roads is unlikely anytime soon. Lane driving is neither possible on the highways nor inside the cities as the roads in the State are not ready for such disciplined driving, officials have stated.

Though the Commissionerate Police had finalised a stretch between Palasuni and Gopalpur on NH-16 for lane driving, the experiment could not be undertaken due to lack of provisions on the road to be made by the NHAI.

For the disciplined driving, marking of lanes with thermoplastic paint, installation of signage and gantries in every 2 km are necessary besides installation of bollards near the gantries for separation of commuters.

Sources said the provisions on NH-16 have been delayed as construction and repair activities are going on at several stretches of the highway, which is yet to be made six-lane completely. Similar is the situation with other highways crossing through the State.

A senior police official said the NHAI has not made the provisions on the stretch yet. "Apart from the installation of gantries and bollards, there should be provisions for change of lanes. How can it be possible when the construction of roads and bridges is still on?" he said.

Lane driving, the officer said, is not at all a viable option in the State now as the roads here do not have sufficient lanes for segregation of vehicles and subsequent change of lanes. While the minimum speed limit on the highways in the foreign countries is 75 kmph, it is just the reverse here.

People are not educated on traffic rules. Only enforcement, which is also affected due to lack of adequate manpower, can not reduce fatalities, people have to abide by rules and be careful while driving, he added.

At a recent review meeting, Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra has directed to immediately introduce lane driving on NHs, so that heavy vehicles can move on the extreme left side. The Commissioner of Police has been asked to finalise the timeline by which lane driving will be implemented between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Expressing displeasure on the performance of districts on suspension of driving licence (DL), the Chief Secretary has instructed SPs, DCPs and RTOs to ensure 100 pc suspension of DL against violation of traffic rules.

Although the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety has directed for 100 pc suspension of DL, such action has been taken against only about eight pc of offenders of over-speeding, 24 per cent of drunken driving cases, nine pc mobile phone use cases and six pc of helmet law violators.


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