Drivers across Sri Lanka were in a state of confusion this afternoon after being made aware of something called a ‘lane’, and the immediate and strict enforcement by police of rules with regards driving within one.
A number of drivers, who had secured their license after receiving lessons from the Stevie Wonder School Of Driving, said that they would have to read the road rules for the first time so they could acquaint themselves with the definition of and etiquette surrounding lanes.
One driver, who tried to overtake us said, ‘What the hell man, can’t you see that you are pushing me into on-coming traffic? Just because I crossed the solid white line and tried to overtake you in heavy traffic without the room for me to move back in no need punish me. In my written driving test the only question they asked me was what comes after red in the traffic lights.’
Meanwhile, a number of bus and tuk-tuk drivers have complained that the lanes are in a straight line. Mr Kantha from Vegewatte, who was approaching the speed of sound in his bus as we spoke to him, told us ‘These bloody lanes are so straight but sometimes we have to swerve to try and hit other vehicles and have close calls with passengers as we race against each other. Taking this into account, the lanes should be in a wave-like pattern.’
Police said anyone not sticking to their respective lanes will have to pay a substantial fine unless the bus owner knows a police officer, or knows someone who knows police officer, in which case they will be allowed to continue to cross lanes.