Understanding red, green and yellow lights:
No traffic sense
Speaks volumes about the mentality of the people as a whole. Traffic lights now work, but ironically the need to still deploy traffic personnel at all the traffic islands still stands. Perhaps Imphal must one of the few State capitals where traffic police personnel are needed to be deployed on duty so that people adhere to the basic red, green and orange lights at every traffic point. To many of the motorists here, zebra crossing could be nothing much more than a place or spot of description at the local zoo while to many more others, the red, green and yellow traffic lights are just coloured lights put on display as part of the process to beautify Imphal ! This is the mindset that one is talking about whenever there is talk on manning and regulating traffic movement. There is no such thing as keeping the left side of the road free so that other vehicles are free to take the left turn whenever the red light comes on, signalling the motorists to stop so that others coming from the opposite or other end can move. Rather whenever the red light comes on, it is about all the vehicles which are set to move straight ahead, crowding near the zebra crossing blocking the left side so much so that other vehicles set to take the left turn cannot do so as their way has been blocked. Moreover, whenever vehicles coming one side are signalled to stop with the red light, it always means that the vehicles will push their way beyond the zebra crossing, thereby not giving much space to the other vehicles coming from either the left or right side of the traffic point to move freely.
It is against this pathetic reality that Traffic Control Police staged a special drive and pulled up traffic rules violaters at Keishampat traffic point on July 3 and were briefly told about the need of obeying traffic rules and regulations. Not clear what effect this drive will have, for it has always been a case of many behind the wheels trying to sneak ahead of the others, never mind if in the process they endanger the other road users. It is not only Keishampat traffic point, but all over Imphal and the problem gets all that more acute when vehicles come from four directions such as at Keishampat traffic point. It is not so much about traffic jams or traffic rush in Imphal, but is more about motorists who refuse to see that the road they are using is meant for all. Motorists have no qualms about going across the zebra crossing when asked to stop at any traffic point in the belief that they will be one or two steps ahead of the others in reaching their destination, but in reality this will only slow them down too, for it stops the free movement of vehicles which have been signalled to move. No one gives much thought about overtaking from the left and it is not uncommon to be honked repeatedly from behind if one stops well ahead of the zebra crossing when signalled to stop. Impose hefty fines on all traffic rules violators, let them spend a week or two in jail if they are repeat offenders. Cancel their license, impound their vehicles. Tough action is what is needed for reckless motorists have been ruling the road without a care for too long.