A lot of traffic has flowed across the Bagmati since the last time we wrote about the traffic snarl at the Bagmati Bridge. So it is time for another one of our Regular Traffic Updates. It is now mandatory to carefully peruse these bi-annual reports in order to keep your driver’s license valid, and failure to read this column in its entirety and memorise the new traffic signs below will automatically result in your driving permit being declared null and/or void. Legal Fineprint: While all care has been taken to accurately reflect provisions in the Traffic Violence and Uncontrollable Road Rage Act 1992, the publisher is not responsible for any arbitrary altercations in rules once they have been ratified by parliament, or adopted by acclamation at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Bakhundole.
The government has left no stone overturned to embark upon an anti-trafficking campaign to ensure that vehicular movement is smooth during state visits by our president to Togo or the Togolese president to Nepal (whichever comes first), during future SAARC, BIMSTEC or Mt Everest Summits by declaring a dawn to dusk curfew. Road user groups are advised that traffic rules will be strictly enforced during VVIP movements when Ambulances and the Fire Brigade will have to give way to Beriberi Important Personalities Carcade.
However, once the convoy with outriders has passed, the city can go back to being its normal chaotic self, viz: buses can once more park on the middle of the road, motorcyclists are allowed to cross the road via the ovalhead bridges, trucks can spew all the smoke they like as long as they don’t blow their horns, pedestrians can walk as if they are jay, and the gumblement can make an illegal U-turn on constitutional amendments.
New traffic signs have also been installed, and since it has been so long since we had them in Kathmandu, drivers may need to brush up on what they mean. As a public service, the Ass presents below new street signs so drivers, and pedestrians who haven’t yet been run over on zebra crossings, can use it as a tear sheet for easy reference during an emergency: