The travails of a driver on Mysore Road

A few days ago we decided to take a break at a home-stay in Coorg, and so had to take the Mysore Road out of Bangalore to Coorg. To avoid getting caught in a traffic jam, we always get out early in the day and that day was no different.

The road was in an excellent condition which was a happy surprise for us, as most roads in Bangalore are in a mess, and we are used to pot holes remaining for even a decade. The only worry we had was the road humps, because we had hit one the last trip and damaged our car. Humps which are built with no scientific input at all, just a killer hump of tar which most often can damage the undercarriage of a low-slung car. The main reason of course is that there are no boards to warn motorists, and sometimes one can hit it at dangerous speeds.

The road humps on Mysore road have been replaced by expandable gates. Pic: Marianne de Nazareth

Happily the humps had disappeared by law, but in their place were these weird expandable gates which were even more dangerous.

The gates are places at different segments of the road, making it difficult for large vehicles to manoeuvre around them. Pic: Marianne de Nazareth

Each ‘gate’ is put at a different segment of the road, as can be seen in the picture and for a huge truck or a bus, one wonders how safe it is negotiating these weird ‘gates’. Every ‘gate’ had a notice proclaiming who had donated them to the traffic police. So, instead of the humps, there were these ‘gates’ all along the road which could cause traffic pile ups, when the merged into a two-way.

Never in all our lives have we ever seen anything like this anywhere in the world. We wondered where our traffic police had dreamed this invention up from.

En route to Coorg, we thankfully negotiated safely past all the colourful gate barriers without any mishap, but on our return we had another more interesting ‘catch’ on the road. Once past Bangalore University, one suddenly sees policemen in uniform, quickly come onto the road to stop random cars. Apparently there are signs which indicate that the driver must not go above 60 km an hour. They sit hidden in a van, and swoop on drivers who are unaware of the rule.

The interceptor vehicle all set to catch vehicles travelling faster than 60 km per hour. Pic: Marianne de Nazareth

We had just picked up speed after crawling through a massive traffic jam when they swooped. Obviously a known spot, and they were aware that they could get a lot of unsuspecting drivers in their net.

“What to do Madam, I have to get 75 numbers by 6 pm,” said the policeman issuing a Rs 300 fine to dozens of zapped motorists. “I have only 60 numbers now and it is nearly 5 pm,” he said. There were many people begging to be let off on scooters, saying they did not have the money, as can be seen in the picture.

A motorist negotiating with the police. Pic: Marianne de Nazareth

Such a terrible end to a wonderful trip to Coorg, but I hope this story gets the attention of the concerned authorities and the harassment of motorists is stopped.

About Marianne de Nazareth 16 Articles
Marianne de Nazareth is a freelance writer and adjunct faculty, St. Joseph's College and COMMITS.

5 Comments

  1. I request that the traffic police put up large notices about the speed limit. Dont wait at a spot where you know the traffic snarl will open up and unsuspecting drivers like us get caught. We might have been just over 60 and were zapped cause there were NO BOARDS to warn us like no boards for the crazy gates.

    I dread to think if a huge truck hits one of those gates and it swings onto a two wheeler, there will be instant death. Please remove the gates, they serve no purpose but to be a death trap.

    Three hundred rupees is very high for the common man on a two wheeler. And if we did not insist on the voucher he was not giving it to us.

  2. Thanks Ms Ganga. Can you also suggest they use something better than the ‘gates’ depicted by Ms Marianne? At the very least, they should use ECE104 compliant reflective tape on such obstacles.

  3. There is a city wide speed limit of 60 kmph for cars and 50 Kmph for two-wheelers. Unfortunately, not being aware of the law does not make you exempt from it. Neither does it work like data usage rollover – crawling through a traffic pileup doesn’t give you karma points to speed up later.
    There is also an option of paying it later, if there’s no money at the moment. (I know, I was caught doing 70 on my bike.) Most probably those guys hanging around didn’t have a valid license or had some document missing, inviting seizure of their vehicles.
    One rule of thumb is that, if everyone is driving in too disciplined a manner, and you’re overtaking way more vehicles than usual, you can be assured there’s an interceptor ahead or a spot where it is commonly found.

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