In recent years, the time spent commuting to work has significantly increased, even in cities like Belagavi. This is a direct result of having to interact with a wider range of drivers, including auto rickshaw drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, and two wheeler riders. Each driver has his own unique driving style, which is often influenced by their upbringing and knowledge of traffic rules. While some drivers can make our daily commute more enjoyable, others can be frustrating and even dangerous.
Wrong Side Drivers:
One particular group of drivers that has become increasingly common in Belagavi are wrong side drivers. This phenomenon has grown in numbers since the police started barricading crosses. The most vulnerable area for wrong side driving is First Gate towards Gogte Circle on Congress Road. It’s not just bikes, even trucks and buses have been seen driving on the wrong side of the road. Even when they are clearly at fault, these drivers often make those on the correct side feel as if they are coming their way.
Another spot where wrong side driving is prevalent is Khanapur Road near Gogte and Jio Petrol Pump. Every day, many buses and trucks take the wrong side of the road else they have to go all the way to RPD cross, wait at the signal and then take a U-turn. However, this issue has been somewhat alleviated by the construction of a new concrete road.
Lane driving can be a frustrating experience for many drivers, especially at busy intersections. These drivers are the ones who attempt to turn right by standing just below the signal to the extreme left (just to be at the front), then zooming and turning right when the light is still orange. Unfortunately, this manoeuvre often leaves those behind them who intend to go straight or left stuck in traffic or collide. Some unlucky drivers may try to find a way on the left so that they can turn right, but this can be a dangerous move that puts everyone on the road at risk.
We’ve all seen them – the drivers who seem to be in a constant rush, as if they’re playing a video game or have a persistent need to answer nature’s call. These hurried drivers will pass by in a jiffy, cutting across lanes and forcing their way into narrow gaps despite heavy traffic or narrow lanes. They not only risk their own lives but endanger others too by exceeding the speed limit and driving in a reckless manner.
Mobile phone usage while driving is a common issue that leads to minor accidents on a daily basis. Unfortunately, most of these incidents go unreported at police stations. It seems that mobile phones have become an extension of people’s bodies, with individuals holding them to their cheeks and speaking as if the world will end if they don’t. some hold in hand, some insert in their helmets. Even if you shout at them, they seem to take offense. A simple way is to use a Bluetooth device which not many do.
This is a highly concerning issue, as young drivers often lack the necessary maturity, knowledge and experience to operate vehicles safely. Most times, these kids feel it is thrilling to ride triple seat. However, it is important to note that the responsibility ultimately falls on the parents who provide their children with bikes and cars. When concerned citizens raise questions about this dangerous behavior, they are often met with threats and hostility.
Honking drivers are another nuisance on the road. There are three types of loud drivers: those who honk as soon as the traffic signal turns green, those who honk knowing the vehicles are stuck ahead and those who blast loud music with all windows rolled down. Additionally, there are drivers who lack confidence in their driving skills and new learners who get intimidated by merging traffic.
Then there are the racers and stunt performers who gather at specific locations in Belagavi to show off their skills for the sake of social media. These individuals put themselves and others at risk for the sake of a few likes and shares.
Spitting riders: They spit on the right side of the road, many times the tiny particles spraying on the passersby, especially on windy days. This menace is so big that everyone has faced this disgusting brunt. The pillion riders, many times their sophisticated wives, also turn a blind eye to these spitting dragons.
On the other hand, rational and sensible drivers understand their limits and drive according to traffic conditions with an appropriate speed limit, concentration, and experience. They alo turn a left/right indicator even while changing lanes. They maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead and have fewer fatal accidents. Unfortunately, these drivers are few and far between on the roads.
The situation for sensible drivers in Belagavi is dire, as the traffic police seem to be turning a blind eye to many violations. Rather than actively enforcing the rules of the road, they seem to focus solely on helmet violations and checking documents, imposing fines based on these infractions of only two wheeler riders. It’s frustrating to see that they aren’t taking action against wrong-side drivers at First Gate, or those who break lane discipline by turning right from the left lane, or even those who use their mobile phones while driving. While an automated system may be generating some fines for these offenses, it’s important for officers on duty to actively enforce the rules and instil discipline in drivers. Underage driving is also a major issue that needs to be addressed, and the traffic authorities must take a more proactive approach to ensure that everyone follows the law. By doing so, they can help keep the public safe and ensure that drivers understand the importance of following the rules of the road.