All that exercise of the traffic police officers…..
Posted on January 8th, 2010

Letter to the Editor -By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai

Every morning when one drives along Galle road in Dehiwela one sees traffic police officers standing every 10 meters or so and vigorously waving their hands urging the motorists to go faster. Actually the vehicles are bumper to bumper and what this desperate waving achieves beats me. All these dancing does is to amuse the motorists which sure makes the snail spaced traffic tolerable, and even enjoyable!

And then they disappear altogether from the roads from about 10 a.m. till about 5 p.m. letting any illegal parking, unwarranted u turns and jay walking take place un attended.

Then again they descend on the road in the evening and keep letting the traffic quite contrary to the traffic lights making utter confusion to the motorists. Just when the lights change colour to green and the motorist changes gear getting ready to go forward, the PC will stop them by just standing right in the middle of the road, to let a few vehicles in the opposite direction. And when one is least expecting as the red lights are on, he will wave frantically indicating the motorists to go on.

It is a miracle that these PCƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t get knocked down often, for often they are not even clearly visible, specially at the William grinding mills junction. To make it worse the motorists on the opposite side often have their head lights full on glaring bright, making it impossible for the old motorists to see clearly. It is the duty of the PC to order the motorists to dip their head lights but I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t think they are even aware of these rules of the road.

There should be planned intervention of the traffic cops without just following the hallowed practice. There is no need for so many cops exercising in the morning sun, a few strategically placed ones, specially at the road junctions intervening only when there is a problem will suffice perfectly.

If a cop thinks they will do a better job directing the traffic, which is a myth anyway, the traffic lights must be off. Otherwise it is best they leave the traffic to take place according to the lights. Of course it is possible to alter the traffic light time in different directions which will neatly control he traffic.

Most of all these cops must be present at all the junctions at all the time, except may be at late nights, to prevent motorists from breaking the law.

It is time someone had a look at the function of these poor government servants and made some useful changes in their duty, to make their lives and that of the motorists easier! .

By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai

22, Vanderwert Place,


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