Bangalore Traffic Police: Repair countdown timers

This petition made change with 121 supporters!

The roads of Bangalore are unsafe, polluted and congested. As commuters, we witness traffic problems at first hand and on a daily basis. The apathy of the state is reflected in the countdown timers, many of which, although installed, are out of order.

The traffic police must take measures to repair and maintain countdown timers already installed. Their effectiveness also needs to be analysed and changes need to be made where necessary. 

Countdown timers were first introduced at the signals of Bangalore in 2001. The benefit of these timers is that commuters switch off their engines when they know that the signal will stay red for a long time, thus saving fuel and cutting pollution. 

Proving the detrimental effects of exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes, studies indicate greater restriction to lung expansion and chromosomal aberrations in traffic policemen compared to the general police personnel. The average human spends 214 days of his life stuck in traffic and we can safely assume that the average Bangalorean spends more. Every day, we are exposed to the dangerous localised pollution at traffic signals, with buses and autos spewing smoke all around us. Working countdown timers can decrease the discomfort and risk to health as drivers can kill their engines during the signal. 

Countdown timers can go a long way in saving fuel and money. Exemplifying the repercussions of idling engines, a recent study conducted by Clean Air Asia reveals that the daily idling time for a BMTC bus being 45 minutes, BMTC can save up to 100 litres of fuel daily and Rs. 3 crore annually by reducing this time by 10 minutes. 

However, many of the countdown timers installed are presently out of order. 

Only a few years back, a lot of money was spent on installing timers. And now, the Bangalore City Traffic Police is working setting up variable message sign boards and surveillance cameras as part of ‘Bangalore Traffic Improvement project’ (B-TRAC). It would be more fruitful to maintain the infrastructure already in place before moving onto another proposed solution to the city’s traffic problems. 

Given the importance of timers, and that the technology and equipment are in place, maintenance should and must be carried out.

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