In a bid to curb bad driving etiquettes, Pune became the first city in India to install ‘tyre-killers’ on its roads to puncture the tyres of vehicles driven on the wrong side of the road. The spikes were put in place in Amanora Park Town, but they had to be removed following a notice sent by Pune traffic police.
Calling the experiment as “risky” and as something that can potentially cause serious injury or even death of commuters, Pune’s traffic police stated that they would not allow any Amanora Park-style experiments in the city, except at vital installations. Police also concurred that it was dangerous for ambulances as well.
What are tyre killers and why were it installed in Amanora Township ?
Amanora Township had installed the mechanism to curb wrong-side driving and ensure safety for children attending school, according to Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrians First. Tyre killers are essentially a metal strip that acts as a speed breaker for the person driving on the right side. However, its spikes puncture the tyres of vehicles coming from the wrong side. Inamdar said the system was working well without any incident.
Despite spikes being removed, Amanora Park Town’s management has, however, sought permission to reinstall the tyre-killers, which were initially installed over a month-and-a-half ago. They claimed the move had received support from local residents.
Inamdar pointed out that wrong-side driving had become rampant in Pune and was a serious threat to people’s lives, especially for pedestrians. He claimed the traffic police had not been able to curb the menace. He also urged police and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to study in detail the mechanism installed at Amanora Park before any final decision is taken.
The design of the mechanism should not be such that it causes death or serious injury to anyone, he added. “The spikes should not be so sharp as to cause tyres to burst. They should only cause a tyre puncture. It should also not be inconvenient for those driving in the right direction. Prominent retro-reflective signs are needed to give advance warning to drivers. A series of rumbling strips on the road, 25 metres and five metres prior to the location of the mechanism, should also be mandatory. Furthermore, the roads should have footpaths so that pedestrians do not have to step over the mechanism,” he said.
Why did traffic police order its removal ?
Citing the experiment as risky, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ashok Morale said they would not give any permission for such kind of experiment.
When asked whether police would study the possibility of using the mechanism, Morale said there were no provisions in law for the implementation of such a system, except at airports and other vital installations. “We are, on our part, taking whatever action we can against wrong-side driving. We have a limited number of staff, but that has not stopped us from taking action against those who drive on the wrong side,” he said.