The Public Transport Authority (PTA) in Rangoon has revealed a plan to tackle the looming traffic calamity in the city by deploying more policemen to seven of its busiest intersections.
At a press conference in Rangoon yesterday, Hla Aung, secretary of the PTA, said more than 200 traffic police officers will be deployed to the intersections.
“We are going to prioritise dealing with drivers neglecting traffic rules, driving in wrong lanes, taking over lanes recklessly on the road and parking their cars in no-parking zones, etc.”
The officers will be sent to the seven busiest junctions in the city, which include Chawdwingon, Bayinnaung, Shwegondai and Myaynigon intersections, and U Htaung Bo, Hledan and Hantharwaddy roundabouts.
A seven-day educational course commenced yesterday to train officers. Drivers who are caught violating traffic regulations will be punished under existing laws.
Myo Nyunt, a columnist who comments on urban lifestyles in Popular Weekly news journal, said punishing violators alone would not solve traffic-related issues in Rangoon.
“People breaking the traffic regulations is only one factor and it’s not even a fundamental one. Buildings and roads in the city today weren’t built [to follow] a proper urban development scheme – there was a lot of corruption in the past so they built them anywhere they wanted, which is now causing the traffic problem,” said Myo Nyunt.
“It might take about 10 years to solve this.”
The Yangon [Rangoon] City Public Transportation Authority was formed on 7 January 2013 under a presidential order and has been tasked with providing convenient transportation access to the public.
While Rangoon was known until recently for its sleepy streets, recent reforms and new policies easing import restrictions on automobiles have led to a massive increase in the number of cars on the streets of the former capital.