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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Free left turn: confusion abounds

S.P. Saravanan

PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Chaotic:Blocking of free lefts at signals and lack of sign boards hamper the flow of traffic at many places in Coimbatore. —

Coimbatore: Confusion over free left turns and motorists violating traffic rules cause hardship and mental agony to road-users. This not only leads to accidents but delays vehicular movements at traffic signals. The present chaotic traffic is a fallout of motorists not adhering to road rules and also because of their impatience.

Despite the city's arterial road having “free left turn”, at most of the junctions and signals, it is blocked by motorists who want to proceed straight or even take a right turn.

Motorists and those on two-wheelers drive/ride left, right and centre occupying whatever space available at signals unmindful of the lane that they have to stick to.

At every signal, it is a common sight to see vehicles on free left lane (wanting to go straight or right) taking advantage of being the first or closer to the stop line. But they actually end up leading to piling up of vehicles behind.

When the signal turns green, the time given for vehicles to move ahead is hardly 25 seconds to 90 seconds but clearing the traffic snarl caused by a blocked free left side requires two to three minutes.

This results in holding back ambulances and fire tenders.

Left turns without traffic snarls could help in decongesting roads and signals to a considerable extent. Many traffic signals do not have signal indicators or sign boards displaying ‘free left' route.

S. Muthu Kumar of Ramanathapuram, off Pankaja Mill Road, says “there is no road sign caution board to enable the motorist to know whether he/she could move to Trichy Road in free left or not.

Hence we are in a dilemma, whether to keep moving or stop at these intersections”.

To mention a few, the main junction includes Singanallur, Ramanathapuram, Hope College, PSG Tech, Nav India, Lakshmi Mill junction, Anna statue, J.M Bakes, Saibaba Colony, and Avinashilingam University. Either the absence of the sign board or non-compliance of traffic rules result in blocking the free left at these main junctions. Even persons, who want to go straight, keep blocking the free left. Two-wheelers and four-wheelers are the biggest violators of the free left turn.

Deputy Commissioner of Police N. Kamini (Crime and Traffic) said blocking free left was a traffic problem and road sign caution boards had already been placed at junctions to create awareness among people not to block free left.

Announcements on Public Address System, placing digitalised boards and sign boards were being done at junctions to ensure free flow of traffic at left turns, Ms. Kamini said.

Around 800 traffic violation cases are booked everyday in the city.

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