Saturday, February 26, 2000
G O O D  M O T O R I N G  A N D  Y O U

Yellow line is for your safety
By H. Kishie Singh

THERE is a brand new road sign in Chandigarh which is being highlighted. It is a solid yellow line down the centre of the road and it means no overtaking. A good driver, law abiding and disciplined, will not allow his tyres to cross this line. The Traffic Police is enforcing this rule.

Yellow line means ‘No overtaking’This means that you follow the vehicle ahead of you. This in turn means a slow but steady flow of traffic. Overtaking on these roads, not wide enough to allow such a manoeuvre, will lead to snarls.

In the past when this painted line failed to have the desired effect, the authorities had to build a line of concrete blocks to contain the traffic. The sector divider road of 17 and 18 as it heads south from Madhya Marg is testimony to the fact that Chandigarh drivers are as bad as Delhi-walas. Careless, unmindful and undisciplined. They neither love their city nor their cars. They do not enjoy driving. They dislike other drivers and consciously make attempts to be nasty on the road.

  This is the worst attitude to have on the road. Love your car and your City Beautiful. Be courteous. Be law abiding and follow traffic rules and regulations.

If the authorities have painted a solid yellow line on the road, it is there for a purpose. They know the width of the road and the width of your vehicle. To cross the yellow line means you are in the "opposite" territory, facing the on-coming traffic. A head-on collision, more often than not, is fatal.

Vehicles on Chandigarh roads move very fast. The permissible speed is up to 65 km ph. Some roads allow 45 km ph. Two vehicles meeting head on at this speed means a collision impact speed of 90 km ph ! A horrifyingly fast speed to run into an on-coming car !

Next time you zip down the road and see a roundabout in front of you, think what would happen if you were to run into that roundabout — it comprises a brick wall filled with mud. It is impact-absorbing. Quite unlike a bus or truck coming at you. Even the safest of the cars will come off second best at such a meeting. The front seat passengers could find their way to the obituary column.

The solid yellow line is there for your and your family’s safety and the safety of all other road users. Respect it.

There could be a variation of the yellow line. It could be double, like that on a hill road or around a corner. Overtaking is not allowed on either side of the yellow line. On some corners, the yellow line could be broken on one side. On this broken side the vehicle may overtake. Traffic coming from the opposite side, which has the solid line, may not overtake. This makes for safer driving.

Visibility on a hill road and around a corner is always more advantageous to one of the drivers. This driver has the line on his side allowing him to overtake.

People who make these rules and regulations, and an international committee that decides them, have a combined knowledge of hundreds of years of serious motoring from dozens of countries around the world. Your safety is their main concern. Respect these rules. They know more than you. Make the roads safer and more fun.