Vehicular traffic in Dimapur is in doldrums. The number of public and private transport has increased manifold. The roads are bursting. With minors and drivers without license behind the wheels, it is free for all on the roads. Motor Vehicles Act and rules made there under do not govern the traffic on the roads here. Auto and bikes are the frontrunners in breaking laws. Lane driving is not heard of in this city. Speed checks are not known and Fortuners and Scorpios drive recklessly and observing the speed limits in breach. The height of things, there are no footpaths for pedestrian walk. These footpaths are illegally occupied by bystanders, and the government cannot afford to take cudgels with its vote bank and mobile voters. The footpaths are meant for pedestrians, and zebra crossing is meant for crossing the roads by pedestrians. Both are non-existent. Indeed pedestrian in this city do not walk on footpaths, which is the exclusive property of roadside vendors and hawkers. Either that or it has been turned into parking spots or driveway for bikes and auto rickshaws. The people in our city lack traffic sense; we are not sanitized in respect of rules to be observed while crossing the roads. Footpaths cannot be cleared of the illegal shops, it is a political decision. They have a mischief value, they are mobile voters. If at all the government finds spine to do so, it will be at their peril. The traffic police has not indicated zebra crossing and it is not highlighted by markings on all roads. It need to be pointed that if a person is injured on the road by a speeding vehicle, while crossing the road, it does not warrant compensation as is admissible to an injured person who has injured himself on a zebra crossing. Yes, traffic mess in Dimapur is a year round phenomenon, but it becomes totally unmanageable come December every year, with people from all parts of the state thronging here for festive shopping. Sure, our roads are narrower due to varied reasons – encroachment being one – and the heavy traffic jams that we experience everyday could be blamed on the narrow lanes and the increased number of vehicles on the road. But the number of vehicles or the narrow roads is not the real problem. It has more to do with the behaviour of the motorists. Changing lanes frequently, cutting in without regard for the vehicles behind or forcing their way ahead of cars lined up at traffic points, this are daily happenings right in front of traffic police. The sad part is that whenever any traffic jams is created, as a result of cutting in and out of lanes thereby blocking incoming vehicles, the traffic police on duty instead of penalizing the defaulting vehicle/s rewards them by giving them first passage, at the cost of those who follow traffic rules and follow lane driving. No wonder, today most drivers don’t follow lane driving in Dimapur, because they know that they will remain stuck in their lane, while those breaking the rules will be given a pat on the back by the traffic police and open the road for them, while stopping the vehicles on the lane. At the same time, few drivers stop or slow down at zebra crossings even if there are traffic police personnel on duty. And should anyone stop to let pedestrians pass, drivers behind blow their horns to urge him/her to move. The point is when a motorist speeds past a puddle splashing water over passers-by, when an auto rickshaw crosses the waiting line to stand in the way of a right-turning car, or when vehicles on a jammed highway occupy even the hard shoulder, they may not be willful acts to harm others they are only concerned about their own convenience. But they infringe upon other people’s interests and rights. More importantly, they contribute to the disruption of our social order by doing so. And yes, traffic conditions mirror the state of the society. Minor misdeeds such as the above-mentioned are seen in nearly every aspect of our social life. One can attribute the problem to the ‘quality’ of our citizens. The improvement of the overall quality of our state or society is too big a topic to discuss here but at least we can make a start by doing something to improve traffic conditions.