Mangaluru: The rate of increase in the number of accidents in the city is alarming. Recently the RTO, in association with the district administration and the police department, observed the 26th National Road Safety Week -2015′ in the the police community hall. The lack of participation by the public at such programmes was highlighted, which only proved that most of the public are not aware of their responsibilities as drivers or pedestrians.
Deputy commissioner Ibrahim in his speech stressed the importance of public participation in such programmes. Students who might take part did not have licences and whoever had participated in such programmes were well aware of the traffic rules.
MLA J R Lobo said that the traffic violations were quite high in the city and there should be strict enforcement of law. “In other countries the traffic laws are very strict. In our country drivers do not follow lane discipline. Laxity in punishment also results in higher number of accidents. If a person violates the traffic rules, his /her license should be revoked,” he said.
Most of the media keep publishing the news of traffic violations. But who cares? The violations continue, nevertheless. Violating traffic rules has become the norm in the city. So also the pedestrians cross the road wherever and whenever they like. On the contrary, when we go to abroad, we strictly adhere to the rules there. It is only because we are afraid of the rules there.
Here in our country, when a person parks his / her vehicle in the wrong place obstructing free flow of traffic, the traffic police will arrive and lock the front wheel. Later the vehicle owner will pay a fine of Rs 100 which is peanuts for him / her and the vehicle can be taken away soon thereafter.
On January 23, when our correspondent was on the busy State Bank road along the maidan around 1:15 pm, she noticed a huge crowd trying to find the owner of the car which was parked in the middle of the road and was obstructing the free flow of traffic.
The traffic policeman who was on duty in the area was helpless since the car was locked. The public and the drivers of the vehicles were upset as they could not move their vehicles down the road. Finally all of them joined hands, lifted and shifted the car out of the way. The front wheel of the car was also locked for violating the traffic rules.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, one of the passersby who helped in pushing the car out of the way, said that some people do not think or care about the problems others face by their action. Whoever parked the car on the road should have used his / her common sense, he said. He added that only arrogant people would park their vehicles in such a way as to cause trouble to other road-users.
In India the traffic rules are not strict and the penalty does not enforce discipline in the violators to make them think twice before violating the rules again. Once the police lock the wheel, the driver of the vehicle will pay the penalty which is a paltry Rs 100 to 300 and the vehicle is released.
The traffic law should be very strict so that the violators should hesitate to commit such offences. Rs 100 or Rs 300 is not a big amount for people who own vehicles, especially the high-end brands. Instead, the public feel, the car should be seized for a month for repeated violations and also their driving license should be revoked in serious cases.
Later when our correspondent enquired about the car-owner who had created nuisance by parking the car in the middle of the road, the traffic police who was on duty said, “The car was parked by a woman. She came back after buying some grocery. I told her to meet the ACP to have the car released. She broke down. In tears she asked to be forgiven. She paid a penalty of Rs 400 and left. I was alone and I could not force her to go to the police station. She also apologized for her mistake”.
Many a time, we also notice two-wheeler riders, especially husband with wife, riding pillion with an infant sandwiched between them like an airbag. Recently our correspondent found an infant in a similar situation. It is impossible to even imagine what could happen if the rider would be in an emergency situation where he may have to apply sudden brakes with force.
In Mangaluru, some people think that it is fashionable or a matter of right to violate traffic rules. There are many who do not wear helmets while riding, and sometimes three persons ride the two-wheelers. Life is very precious. We live only once, and we all need to live our life to the fullest. One wrong move by way of carelessness could invite many problems not only to us but also to others.
Let us resolve to lead a safe, peaceful life and let others to live their lives peacefully. Our happiness should not affect the lives of others. If we understand our duties and follow the traffic rules, we can be an example to others. Thus together we can save many lives which are lost in accidents everyday.