Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 March 2011





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Government Gazette

Traffic laws will be enforced - DIG Traffic (WP)

As a country which had gone through a three-decade-long conflict, we had to ignore many traffic rules and regulations as there were practical difficulties to enforce them. So the indecent and indiscipline driving habits became the order of the day as less attention was paid to those road violators.

But as we are nearing the second anniversary of ending the humanitarian operation, there is no necessity to ignore the laws further as non enforcement of the laws has caused immense problems to motorists and pedestrians.

The environment has also been created, with the removal of barriers and road blocks and the resurfacing of roads which has been ignored for years, for the law enforcement authorities to re-enact those laws again.

The Traffic Police are now re-enacting the laws to discipline motorists and also pedestrians.

The Western Province has become the focal point for the strict enforcement of these traffic laws as disciplined driving has become a must along the busy roads in the western province which shelter more than 25 per cent of the total population and the major share of motor vehicle users.

"We, under the directive of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Inspector General of Police Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya, thought to enforce laws with regard to lane traffic as it helps improve the appearance of city streets which are now being renovated and beautified,"Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Traffic Administration, Road Safety and Western Province Traffic Operations, Asoka Wijetilleka told the Sunday Observer.

It was made compulsory for three wheelers, private and CTB buses and heavy vehicles to keep to the left of the road to discipline bus, lorry and three wheel drivers who are frequent violators of road rules causing immense damage to other motorists and pedestrians.

"On a daily basis we are making detections on lane traffic where we see private and CTB buses, three wheelers and heavy vehicles not following lanes and also driving without keeping to the left.

They do this particularly to race with another bus in order to overtake and take passengers or and to take extra turn going against the other competitor," DIG Wijetilleka added.

DIG Asoka Wijetilleka

"This has caused serious danger to passengers, motorists and even pedestrians. Many accidents have occurred due to this type of callous driving by private bus drivers, three wheeler drivers and the heavy vehicle drivers", he added.

"We enforced this law strictly and made constant detections. Todate we have taken 178 cases in three days in the Colombo city averaging 60 per day. We will continue this operation until we succeed," he added.

With regard to the main roads where lanes are not properly marked, Traffic Police has sought the assistance of the Road Development Authority and also the Colombo Municipal Council to mark lanes and pedestrian crossings.

"They are on the job and they want to fix cat's eyes on either sides of the pedestrian crossing so that motorists can have a clear visibility of the pedestrian crossing in order to take adequate precaution," the DIG added.

The traffic Police also have strictly begun enforcing the law regarding tooting of horns.

"This is an offence. It causes noise pollution. This is also done by impatient drivers who want to reach destinations at any cost. We have made detections since February and to date taken over 1,300 detections on noise pollution and we are prosecuting them", the DIG added.

The law with regard to pavement parking has also been enforced in the Western Province during the past few weeks. "We have made many detections for pavement parking and where we can't find the driver we have towed their vehicles to police stations," he added.

The offenders will have to go to the Police station and pay the cost of towing charges to the company in addition to being prosecuted in the Courts. "No tickets are given for penalties and they have to go to Courts immediately," the DIG added.

The Traffic Police is also strictly enforcing the law with regard to jay walking . "We find a lot of jay walkers all over the city constantly obstructing the free flow of traffic and causing traffic jams and accidents causing injuries to pedestrians," the DIG added.

The Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council, Omar Kamil is helping Traffic Police by erecting centre island fences in front of the CTO where a lot of jay walkers have been detected by the Police. "We intend to do this in Union Place and Dharmapala Mawatha where there are many jay walkers, to prevent them from crossing the road in a haphazard manner," the DIG added.

Apart from this the traffic Police will also enact another law with regard to three wheeler drivers who park three wheelers obstructing the view of by-lanes.

"There are many complaints by motorists that they cannot see the main road and by-roads as three wheelers are parked on both sides of the road near the top of the by-roads at the main road. As a result motorists who use by-roads to enter the main road don't have a clear view. This also has become a major problem as many accidents have occurred due to this situation," DIG Wijetilleke added.

The Traffic Police in the Western province will be launching this program into operation from March 7 to prosecute three-wheeler drivers who park obstructing other users a view of the road.

Road rules with regard to moped riders will also be strictly enforced from April 1.

"The Registrar of Motor Vehicles has given time for moped owners to register with the Department.

Reckless riding habits of moped users have also caused accidents on roads endangering the lives of most of the riders on the road as they are not wearing helmets.

"This is yet another danger area and we have decided giving a further grace period till the end of this month to register with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. The rider must have a valid riding license, insurance and revenue licence in possession like any other rider or driver", he added.

"We will be making detections from April 1 with regard to violation of this rule from after the grace period given to them is over", the DIG added.


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