Disfunctional Traffic Signals

For the last 2 days, traffic signals on a major part of Shahrah e faisal (from Rashid Minhas Road upto Metropole) have been out of order.

Whats interesting here, is that the traffic is now smoother and more free flowing. I left home a little late today and was dreading a wild jam on every intersection as the case was with past experiences, but rather surprisingly, it was all free and great!

Even before the signal-off scenario, I personally feel that traffic cops do a better job considering they obtain real time feedback on the situation at hand as opposed to time managed signals. One example which I see everyday is a group of 4 traffic cops managing the Millenium Mall intersection and though the jam is often pretty long, It would be longer if it were managed by signals as opposed to traffic cops who keep an eye on traffic volumes coming from Gulistan e Jauhar.

On another note: Traffic cops here dont follow the official hand signal patterns (please refer to the highway code book thats supposed to be in your car at all times), my input on it, is that the many drivers are hardly aware of what different hand signals mean!

13 Comments so far

  1. Bamboo Guy (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    Hand signals: Of course man! We just understand what hand is, and signals = no way man, no way.

    Traffic situation is getting worst! Accidents have increased a lot. Last night, a man was hit by a car on the extreme right lane on Shahrah-e-Faisal, he died on spot. I saw the accident and the man was at fault because he was walking on the road (on that extreme right lane) at 2300 hrs.

  2. Anon_again (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 10:41 am

    Traffic signals are the norm the world over. They need to have the traffic engineering folks as well as the urban planning ppl in the local admin get their act together or this situation would continue to deteriorate.

  3. Imran (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    You must have been lucky that time, but in my opinion traffic police should be fired, or atleast properly trained. In my experience in traffic, I trust on the signals and not the police. They tend to make the traffic worse. For example at Business Arcade She-e-faisal (Cybernet branch, Motorolla Ad) there are a couple of schools in the back area, and there are around 5-6 police TRYING to handle the traffic, but they simple can’t. And then mashallah our drivers have absolute no sense of driving and an ego of “mein pehlay” that tend to make the matters worse.

    all in all I hope the police that you encountered are really good trained, and we see more of them actually HANDLING the traffic in a correct manner.

  4. Kashif (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

    I have noticed disfunctional signals in many areas including tariq road, SF and jail road. It seems that traffic dept is saving electricity.

  5. Jamash (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    Code Book , what codebook ? People don’t even keep their driving license with them , if you have a 50 in your pocket the law is yours, and if you have an SHO’s visiting card then you can getaway with almost any thing and if your uncle is an MPA you can get away with absolutely anything ..

  6. Jamash (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

    And on a more related note, I think traffic police should be present at all major signals to check the violators, and yes they do a better job then those automatic lights also because lights can’t whistle ‘n’ jump in front of the cars to stop the traffic :P

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    imran: the problem is more of the driver ego than the traffic cops… thats gotta change. i believe that these people handling traffic is a much better option, otherwise all of us would be gettin home by midnight everyday :S

    inspirex: the traffic signals are not defunct, rather the rush hours (morning and evening) are usually handled by the traffic cops, and as they have wireless handsets and a central command, they do a much better job

  8. Kashif (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Mansoor, the traffic signals that I saw defunct had no cops nearby. Also, I have noticed at hassan square and other similar round-abouts how ‘efficient’ traffic policemen are. They can’t even coordinate properly amongst themselves and one of them has to shuffle back and forth to signal others.

  9. Sa'ad (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Mansoor is right: the problem is more of the driver ego than the traffic cops… that’s gotta change.

    The mentality can be changed if traffic cops and police in general are trustworthy and not the kinds who would pick up your car on a road without a no parking sign then commit daylight robbery by asking you to pay the fine without a receipt.

  10. Imran (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

    this is a round cycle, the people say that they keep ego because cops are bad, cops say they dont perform well because people are bad … some one has to change, and yes i agree that PEOPLE are the one to blame always in the first place, if they obey the rules properly the cops will not have hard time regulating the traffic, and much smoother traffic flow …

  11. Cy (unregistered) on September 6th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    Inspirex: Not to be a spelling nazi (I routinely screw up spellings myself), but the correct spelling is dysfunctional. Disfunction is apparently an acceptable variable of dysfunction, but not as an adjective.

  12. wasiq (unregistered) on September 7th, 2006 @ 4:11 am
  13. BLACK (unregistered) on September 7th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm


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