brakes on pedestrian crossing accidents
Are we a nation of fools? The way in which we have
gone about our road safety and the way in which we drive on our
roads certainly suggests this.
Take for example
the recent accident on the Colombo Katunayake Road where two students
were killed while crossing the road on a zebra crossing. The children
were mowed down by a driver who was driving at high speed overtaking
vehicles that had stopped for children to cross violating all rules
that a driver is expected to observe at a pedestrian crossing.
What are the
rules that the driver should observe at a pedestrian crossing?
1. No overtaking
within the boundaries of a pedestrian crossing. The boundaries of
a pedestrian crossing are determined by the zig zag lines on either
side of the zebra crossing.
2. No parking
within this area
3. No loading
or unloading within this area
a pedestrian crossing ready to stop if necessary
5. If a pedestrian
has entered the zebra area, the driver must stop.
None of these
rules are given in our highway code booklet from which the drivers
learn road rules. All they have is a picture of a zebra crossing.
This must have been copied from the British highway code but they
have failed to copy the text that goes with it.
If we go back
to the accident mentioned, you find the driver has violated rules
1,4 and 5. As drivers do not observe rule No 4 Police had put speed
breakers to force the drivers to do slow down. However after two
days they were removed by the police as it was causing traffic jams.
All this indicates that a surface pedestrian crossing is not suitable
in this position and therefore the authorities must provide an overpass
or an underpass. Only fools will say there are no funds available
for an over or underpass. Therefore we have a surface pedestrian
crossing, but the drivers are not obliged to obey the rules of a
pedestrian crossing, because if they did it would cause traffic
accident that happened a few years ago at a pedestrian crossing
in front of Kingswood College in Kandy where a student was killed.
The bus stop here is within the area of the pedestrian crossing.
that happened in Kandy was when a school child was at the pedestrian
crossing near Kandy Nursing Home. After the accident authorities
put speed breakers, not right across the road but offset. Now what
many drivers do is get on to the wrong side of the road to avoid
the speed breakers making the area even more dangerous.
M. Nihal Palipane
your food print' (The Sunday Times Plus 1.12.02) prompted me to
add more on consumer education.
Most of the
eggs that are displayed for sale in the market have poultry excreta
on them. The excreta contains a bacteria called shigella which gets
absorbed into the yolk through the porous shell. Consumption of
contaminated eggs causes vomiting and diarrhoea. When these eggs
are stored in a refrigerator other food items also can get contaminated
(eggs can be kept for one month when stored in a well ventilated
dry place in egg trays).
A poultry owner
knows that clean eggs can be sent to market without any extra cost
if only he spends some extra time in the farm. But due to his lethargy,
the innocent consumer has to pay dearly.
eggs is a punishable offence.
P. A. Binduhewa
shall not live by bread alone,' decreed the Holy Bible, but some
wags have perhaps with no disrespect intended have said 'Man shall
not live by bread alone but with butter (margarine) also!'
To my mind
the indigenous version thereof would read "...but with pol
sambol also," as the majority of Sri Lankans including the
writer would have preferred sambol to butter. This is mainly taking
the cost factor and of course the appetizing quality into account,
as it also a delicacy and a must on the breakfast table of most
Moratuwa homes that I know of.
But alas! is
it time to say goodbye to those small delicacies with the present
price of bread and coconut spiralling. A coconut has gone up to
Rs. 30 per nut!! A nutty problem indeed!
come and mayors go. Most appear to be deaf and blind but not dumb
as they rattle off to the media giving the tax payer false hopes.
Why do we pay
rates to the Municipal Council? What do we get in return? Not even
an acknowledgment to our complaints.
off Hotel Road Mount Lavinia is a widely used road.
The back entrance
of Girls' High School falls on to this road. As such, vehicles are
parked and children walk along this road at great risk.
of the Anglican Church too opens out to this road.
When the car
park of the Mount Lavinia Hotel is full cars are parked here.
hundreds of locals use this road to go to the beach. But what is
the sight that greets us on this most important road?
Heapes of gravel
lie along the side of the road, using up valuable space.
Only one street
light functions at night and that too occasionally. (Letters to
engineers of the relevant authorities have been of no avail.)
branches of trees are entangled with the wires that sag dangerously.
One light post tilts precariously to one side.
flows across the road to drains that are clogged with refuse. This
water also collects in a huge pot hole at the corner of Girls' High
School adjoining the Church. This could breed Dengue.
On top of all
this, residents living on the adjoining road (De Soysa Road) dump
their refuse at the end of Mount Avenue.
please enlighten as as to what purpose our money is being used by
the Municipal Councils?
Who is to be
blamed this time?
the Sri Lanka cricket team returned from England after losing the
Test and one-day series, excuses such as cold weather, seaming pitches
and bad tour management by Chandra Schafter were cited for the dismal
I wonder what
the excuses are going to be now that the South African tour is over?
Will the captain say the weather was too hot and the wicket bouncy?
Or will he say that Manager Ajith Jayasekera and Cricket Manager
Duleep Mendis should be blamed too? It is said that Mr. Schafter
was not considered for the tour because he was too much of a disciplinarian
for a team that blames every thing other than its own performance.
It is high
time the authorities do their homework and get our first class matches
played on more bouncy and seaming pitches before accepting invitations
to tour countries like Australia, South Africa, West Indies and
England. We were world champs in 1996 but we played in our backyard
(Pakistan) and not in South Africa.
Please do not
waste money in sending Mr. Mendis and Co. to South Africa to work
out World Cup strategies since it will not make any difference until
we do our home work two years in advance and get the players exposed
to wickets similar to the ones in South Africa, Australia or England.
Widening a wide
Municipal Council is widening the Gongawela Road from the Railway
Station junction to Godapola Road Junction. The width of this new
road is equal to the width of trunk and main roads.
is neither a trunk road nor a main road. Godapola Road junction
where the road project ends is almost a dead-end. Gongawela Road
is used by a large number of schoolchildren and if and when this
road is widened speed fiends are going to be a major threat to these
between Harrison Jones Road junction and Dole Road junction is quite
wide enough. To further widen this stretch means unnecessary encroachment
on private property.
drain on the other side of this stretch is earmarked to be shifted
into private road frontage. If this happens, a number of business
establishments would lose the road frontage.
the culvert at Dole Road junction is quite wide and strong and needs
no widening or reinforcing. Isn't it a colossal waste of money on
an unnecessary venture? We hope that some of this money will instead
be spent to repair the umpteen number of roads which are in a deplorable
state within the municipal limits.
Leaves of life:
Journey of past, present and future
of life' published in The Sunday Times Plus last month, brought
memories of an old friend, the late S. Sittampalam, one-time Commissioner
of Inland Revenue. He was one such 'reader' much sought after by
leaders and top folks at that time.
this type of ola leaves came to his hands, brought by one Mahalingam
from South India. They were supposed to have been written by ancient
Rishis (those who could see the past, present and the future as
one continuum of consciousness, with the spatio-temporal dimension
contracted into a single point of perception, after its journey
of expansion on the horizontal mundane).
this journey of certain individuals, they were concerned with those
on the inward-journey of contraction from the periphery to the bindu-centre,
and, as guidelines to them, recorded what they saw in such leaves;
scattering or burying them, here and there, with their psychic,
prescient knowledge that these will be found or surface at the appropriate
time, when such beings will be re-born, ready to tread the return
path, karmically ordained.
were known as 'Sabdha Rishi Vakyams' (Saying of Rishis in expressed
or audible sound) of what they perceived in their inaudible and
were supposed to be the 'womb' of desires and actions (fulfilled
or otherwise) of past lives; the nexus of the past and the present,
conjointly mapping out the future.
scripted in an ancient style, and the time factor therein, differed
from our familiar time reckoning - a fact which often led to discredit
and disbelief, being hard to comprehend even by well-versed readers
of the old lingo.
also other forms of Vakyams, apart from the above, spiritually oriented,
meant to direct people, still on the outward-expansion of time/space/experience
journey of the continuum, to guide them on strictly secular activities
of governance, leadership, military prowess, domestic life etc.,
fitting into the Hindu concept of the four ashrams of mortal existence,
viz, two of which are that of Grihastha (householder); Brachmachairya
(student of Divine knowledge) and the other two that of Vanaprastha
(forest-dweller, leading an inner-life of contemplation etc., detached
from the 'forest' of the mundane) and that of a Sannyasin (a freed
wanderer) and again, which could be anywhere one is at any particular
moment of time, living; 'the life, ordinaire' of a person free of
bondage. These last two coming within the parameters of Sabdha Vakyams
pertaining to the return journey.
to the Editor' should be brief and to the point.
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The Sunday Times,
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