The worrying dynamics of what is perhaps the most dangerous corner in Santa Fe

The place: the intersection of Belgrano and Eva Perón streets, continuation of Catamarca. The problem: incessant vehicular traffic that gives no respite. Crossing Belgrano on foot from one sidewalk to the other, at midday, can take between four and five minutes. There are two “caution” traffic lights, yellow. But its colors, due to the dirt on the glass, obscure the light.

It happens that Belgrano is a “unloading” street from Av. Alem to the north. Not only cars, but also medium and long-distance buses, motorcycles, taxis that go to the bus station and taxis, even patrol cars that are very frequent at the local bus station, and even Cobem ambulances. Most of those vehicles come at a really high speed.

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Then, the bottleneck appears for those who are driving along Eva Perón to the east, to continue along that artery, or turn into Belgrano. There they must wait for this automotive avalanche to slow down a little, and thus have passage. Some “played” drivers become anxious and want to cross. The view towards Alem is scarce. The danger of a collision is the order of the day.

But there is also another unloading mouth, which is a “cortitadita” that turns north through Belgrano, a sort of mouth of the internal street of the terminal. This is where intercity buses mainly unload, such as the service that goes to the Costa Santa Fe. Turning is complicated for a large vehicle; it is done slowly. But the avalanche on Alem Avenue keeps coming.

Potential losses

The Litoral relieved that intersection, whose dynamics in an evening rush hour do not give respite. For just five minutes, this newspaper counted an average of 160 cars, motorcycles, buses, police patrol cars, taxis, remises, and cyclists. There are about 2 thousand vehicles in an hour. And there are more than 45 thousand vehicles in 1,440 minutes in a day.

Using a cell phone while driving is prohibited. Credit: El Litoral Archive / Pablo Aguirre

Now, another contribution from the survey. For exactly 15 minutes, two elements were observed in that dangerous dynamic of Belgrano and Eva Perón. Here the “potential road accidents” were counted. For example, a driver who was coming from Eva Perón and wanted to cross Belgrano, but had to brake drastically to avoid colliding with another car that was coming at high speed from Alem. In those fifteen minutes, three potential accidents were detected.

Violations

The other quantification was the number of traffic violations detected always within those just fifteen minutes – estimates for longer periods are left to the readers’ discretion. Several issues were reported, due to recklessness in front of a steering wheel.

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Four frequent traffic violations were recorded here: the first, failure to use a seat belt; the second, the non-use of protective helmets on motorcyclists; the third, the use of the cell phone while driving, and fourth, the lack of a license plate, all contraventions classified in the Regime of Infractions and Penalties (Ordinance No. 7882 and amendments) of the city.

The ranking

By far, the first was the most committed, again, in just 15 minutes. 29 drivers were detected without wearing a seat belt, which is mandatory. For “circulating in automobiles without having seat belts on, both the driver and the passengers, a fine of 50 UF to 500 UF and/or disqualification of up to sixty days is applicable,” says the Infractions Regime.

Translated into monetary values, for this contravention 50 UF is equivalent to 32,500 pesos minimum and 500 UF, up to 325 thousand pesos maximum. Another striking issue: many taxi drivers and taxi drivers were detected without the corresponding seat belt. Neither did the passengers they were carrying.

On a motorcycle, without a helmet. Another of the reckless behaviors seen throughout the city.On a motorcycle, without a helmet. Another of the reckless behaviors seen throughout the city. Credit: El Litoral Archive / Guillermo Di Salvatore

The second most recorded violation was using a cell phone while driving, plus other uses (such as drinking mate or eating) while driving. 11 cases were detected. Article 121 of the aforementioned Regime says: “For driving, maneuvering or stopping recklessly or driving with one hand or separating both from the steering wheel or using the mobile phone without the hands-free system, a fine of 50 UF is computed. at 500 UF (…)”. Same economic amount as the previous violation.

Motorcycles

The third most repeated infraction was with motorcycles. In just 15 minutes and in a single point in the city (Belgrano and Eva Perón), four motorcyclists were driving without protective helmets. “For riding motorcycles without a standardized protective helmet, both the driver and the passenger, a fine of 50 to 500 UF (…).” Same monetary amounts as previous contraventions.

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Finally, two vehicles without license plates were detected (one of them was a utility vehicle from an internet provider company). “For the lack of a license plate on motor vehicles, a fine of 80 UF ​​to 800 UF is applicable,” says the Infractions Regime. The fine can cost a minimum of 52 thousand pesos up to a whopping sum of 520 thousand pesos at a maximum. The final amount is always determined by the Judge of Misdemeanors.

Solutions?

Common sense indicates that with a traffic light, road accidents on that corner would be avoided. But also, it could be said that placing a traffic light would lead to generating an endless line of cars unloading north through Belgrano from the north from Av. Alem.

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And try with a traffic inspector who organizes that road funnel that is generated in Belgrano and Eva Perón? It would be a possibility. The truth is that the problem is counted and quantified in this article. Now, the solutions will have to come from the city’s technicians and political decision makers.

 
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