Dumb Idea! Setting Up Barricades on NH without reflectors or warning signs pose Danger to Motorists than Control Speed
Mangaluru: My travel to Manipal from Mangaluru with my friend two days ago in his car after dark on National Highway 66 had full of obstacles- I am not talking about pot-holes, dilapidated road, etc -the obstacles that I am talking about are the barricades set up at various junctions on a busy highway. The idea behind to erect these barricades is to reduce the speed by motorists plying on this highway, in order to allow pedestrians and other crossroads vehicles to cross the NH. I think this is a dumb idea, especially when these Barricades used by the police are posing hazards at night, since they have no reflectors or any warning signs when motorists approach closer to these barricades. The worst part is that the highways are dotted with barricades in the middle of the road. These barricades kept haphazardly do not have any reflectors taking drivers by surprise. Placing reflectors on barricades is definitely a good suggestion that one can look into, but sadly that is not looked into.
The structures are not visible, thanks to poor lighting, paint peeling off, and lack of reflectors. A barricade, typically painted yellow, weighs more than 100 kg and in case if it knocked down by a fast moving vehicle, is often left on the road for hours and days-thereby posing more danger to motorists. The danger is worse when it rains. No lights, signs and signals are placed to alert motorists to the barricades. Motorists suddenly come upon the barricades, and brake abruptly. Many motorcycle riders say those on the pillion are especially vulnerable, as sudden braking can throw them off, and under the wheels of a passing vehicle. The fact is that these barricades spring into view suddenly. They have no reflectors or warning. Highway lights are also not working most of the time.
According to villagers near Padubidri, they said that some cases have come to light where muggers have used police barricades to rob motorists. They said that few days ago, some miscreants placed barricades on the road and robbed a motorist of his mobile phone and cash. Surely, these barricades are a menace. There could be other ways to check speeding. But if they are still sticking to barricades, installing lights on the barricade and also warning signs few meters away while approaching these barricades can help the rider notice it well in time.
Motorists taking NH 66 from Mangaluru to Udupi and beyond will come across these unsafe barricades placed at Haleyangadi, Mulki, Mukka, Kaup, Katapadi, Udyavara, Brahmavara, Sasthana, Saligrama, Kota, and many other locations where pedestrians moving is large. These kind of barricades have also been placed on NH 48 on the way to Bengaluru route – near Sahyadri College, Thumbay, BC Road and few other locations.While the authorities are keeping the safety of pedestrians in their minds, they are not at all worried about the safety of motorists by putting their lives in risk through these stupid barricades. Although that some of these barricades have reflectors and get illuminated from the headlights of vehicles during nights, giving enough time for drivers to apply brakes and avoid hitting the barricades – but many a times this results in confusion with motorists panicking while applying brakes which could result in accidents. As a consequence, it is common for many vehicles to hit the barricades, as drivers do not enough time to fully stop their vehicle.
In conclusion, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways manual clearly mentions where and when the barricades can be placed. They have to be used for specific purposes only. A person can approach the Court in case of accidents due to unscientifically placed barricades. In case of accident due to haphazardly placed traffic barricades, the traffic officials can definitely be implicated. Barricades are meant to be a temporary arrangement. It should be used only in case of emergency or for traffic diversions. Barricades that are placed on permanent basis on some of the roads have to be removed. You need something better to control the recklessness and careless driving of motorists, and nor barricades without reflector or warning signs which may cause accidents or deaths, more than speed reduce or for the matter, for the safety of pedestrians.