MY OPINION – Good roads need good behaviour

Fatal accidents like the recent one involving a young bride-to-be on her short visit to Bengaluru from Hong Kong do not augur wel for the image of the city and its citizens. But this is not the first time that somebody on his way to or from the airpor has become the victim of a ghastly fatal accident. In most cases, passengers become victims of reckless driving by taxi drivers.
Similar scenario exists at Hosur Road. Instances of overspeeding buses mowing down people waiting at the bus stand or footpaths occur at regular intervals. Another example is Mysuru-Bengaluru highway where fatalities have already multiplied after the upgradation of the erstwhile narrow road to the state highway . All these examples have one common feature -good infrastructure clubbed with bad road user behaviour.Overspeeding is the common denominator.

Do we really deserve good roads? Good infrastructure with not-so-good driving habits can become a death trap for citizens! We often treat good roads and high-end cars as a licence to over-speed.One can see the irritation among drivers when they are compelled to drive below 80 kmph. Not many agree with it and any attempt to flag them down is seen as harassment or revenue collection drive on the part of traffic police.

We need to understand and accept that even though our powerful car engines as well as state-of-the-art roads are capable of sustaining high speeds, the environment that exists around these highways is not conducive for the same.

It is not uncommon to see children and senior citizens running across wide highways to cross; stray animals loitering in the midst of highways or even lorries, cars and even buses parked haphazardly , most of the time even without reflectors during the night. Overworked drivers competing for business or disregard for seat belts make these journeys even more unsafe. On the top of it, passengers rarely discipline our own drivers or taxi drivers and unsuspectingly become victims of their rash driving.Many a time, road rage explodes in the form of arguments and even scuffles in the middle of such highways.These above features are the reality of our country and hence deterrent for permitting high speed.

We may conveniently brush aside these as freak accidents. But these keep happening with fair amount of regularity and reveal a set pattern instead of being exceptions. Car drivers may dismiss these issues as lack of effective enforcement but the same people when regulated for their own speed cry foul! People don’t necessarily become victims due to their own mistake. But irrespective of whose mistake it is, any loss of human life is best avoided. Only way we can achieve this is by sticking to defensive driving and making small sacrifices (read compromises). Following traffic rules for one’s own safety and not merely to avoid being penalized by traffic police is the only way ahead for safer journeys.



MY OPINION – Good roads need good behaviour

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