A survey was conducted in Belgaum from the tourists who visit here very frequently, and asked them several questions pertaining to the traffic rules followed in Belgaum and the city/state to which they belong. The tourists belonged to Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Coorg, Bagewadi and majority of them belonged to Goa. Further we were able to frame some major parts/questions which complete the entire survey. The following questions were framed as follows:
1. Do they wear helmets & seatbelts in their city?
2. Traffic problems faced by tourists in Belgaum.
3. Which is a better place to ride/drive, Belgaum or other?
The survey has also been supported by a video based on pictures clicked in Belgaum City.
Let us find the responses of each of the above questions asked one by one:
Question No 1: Do they wear helmets & seat-belts in their city?
Majority of the respondents responded as Yes, wearing of helmets and seat belts is mandatory in their city/state otherwise they were penalized upto Rs 500. Most of them wear it out of the fear of being penalized; most of them wear it only on highways, and some of them only to protect themselves from pollution and keep themselves safe. It has been said as there is high awareness of following traffic rules and regulations in Mumbai than in other parts of the country. Not everybody wears helmets and seatbelts, it depends from person to person as there were people who violated traffic rules, some said atleast 50% of the people wear it, some said as 80% and 90% do wear them in their respective cities.
Question No 2: Traffic problems faced by tourists in Belgaum.
Most of the tourists faced problems in Belgaum City due to various reasons like Narrow roads, shortage of space for vehicle parking, the residents of Belgaum park their vehicles anywhere and everywhere, there does not exist traffic sense, people overtake from both the sides, people don’t wear helmets and seat-belts, people do not wait on signals, people also go across the dividers to move out of traffic quickly, there are 3, 4 and also 5 people sitting on a two wheeler, people also get into no entry, people do not follow lane discipline they move from right side to the left side of the road, especially where there is a sign board of ‘No U turn’, most of them violate it. These were the above answers received from the respondents.
Question No 3: Which is a better place to ride/drive, Belgaum or other?
Majority of the tourists responded as Goa, Mumbai & Pune were better places to ride/drive because of lane discipline followed, wide and good roads and strict traffic rules were imposed and at the same time it was followed by the public. Some of them also responded as Belgaum is a much better place to ride/drive in comparison to all other states/cities in India, as Belgaum has a better traffic sense. One amongst them also responded as it was unfair to compare one city to another since there was a difference in the population, pollution and also the width of the road, but if given one option to choose Goa would be preferred.
Question No 4: Suggestions
The suggestions received from the tourists were, widening of roads, imposition of strict traffic rules, availability of parking place, there should be awareness among the young riders/drivers. It is believed Traffic Rules should be a part of the curriculum right from the schooling going up to College Level, which would help the future generation in knowing their moral responsibilities. Only by conducting a road safety week and putting up the banners, and advertisements, people will not follow the traffic rules, but in fact teaching and training on a routine manner right from the childhood should be adopted.
It is important to keep our tourists happy as they help in promoting the business, indirectly benefit the employees and finally all the residents of the city, as they keep us lively. We hereby conclude the residents of Belgaum City should make a strong appeal for the development and widening of the roads, make sure the parking area is available, awareness and training is provided by the concerned department of traffic rules to school and college going students on a routine basis, and at the same time we the residents of Belgaum should follow traffic rules and regulations and allow its imposition on us. Unless we take the initiative in reforming our city, we cannot succeed, as charity begins at home. It would be a struggle for some time but later everybody would reap the benefits of it.
“Anything that is harmful to the society should be protested, but anything that is beneficial should be supported”
Idea and Implementation by: Mr.Nitin J Maniyal, Lecturer, Jain Degree College,