Are You a Good Roadie? Do You Respect Traffic Rules?
| Suman Arora - 07 Apr 2019

Are You a Good Roadie?

Do You Respect Traffic Rules?

 

By Suman Arora

New Delhi, April 07, 2019: I recently read that as per the official data every minute there is a road mishap and every four minutes someone dies on road. No doubt, that’s alarming.

A man on the road does not stop to think that his careless driving can lead to grievous situations. There are people who regularly indulge in all sorts of traffic rules violations like over speeding, jumping stop lights, drunken driving, taking calls while driving, etc.,which tend to result in mishaps on the roads.

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Every day when I drive to/from office, I witness varied scenes of reckless driving on the roads, some of which are amusing while some are pretty annoying. I thought of penning down what we all go through every day, in Delhi and NCR. All this is mainly because, intentionally or otherwise, we do not always respect traffic rules.

The other day, a couple of two-wheelers and auto-drivers gave me a harrowing time. They were monopolizing the top lane and I found it pretty annoying to have been relegated to the second lane which posed the same fate. Interestingly, a two-wheeler driver even glared at me when I somehow managed to pass through the top lane, making me momentarily doubt my knowledge of traffic rules as to whether my four-wheeler does or does not have a right to be in the top lane as compared to an auto!

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Not generalizing, but at least, some auto drivers/two-wheeler riders do make you feel that you are in the wrong when you are not. They move at snail’s pace, at times, blocking your way in the top lane which is reason enough for you to make you lose your cool! But, you are still expected to maintain it (cool) while they continue to drive you mad by being in the wrong lane and not letting you have your right of way.

Every other day, we are privy to several unpleasant incidents on roads due to one reason or the other. Once, while driving in heavy traffic, I saw on my left, a hefty man, accompanied by a woman, presumably his wife, mercilessly beating an auto-driver. The wife was trying to control his man but such was his rage that he continued to shout profanities and hitting him hard. For all we know, it might have been a case of overcharging involving a few rupees only! I only hope the people who had gathered at the scene had been able to prevent a potential major disaster that threatened to come out of that scene of road rage!

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Let’s face the fact, probably the overscheduled lives have made most of us remain almost perennially on a short fuse and we tend to flare up at the slightest provocation leading to grave repercussions later. Let us try and control our anger in such situations.

Once, at a traffic signal, when the traffic light turned green from red, it took a person in the front a couple of seconds more than what he was expected to take to start the ignition and move on while the person behind was a little faster and as a result his car-bumper touched the one ahead. All hell seemed to break loose after that! The whole traffic was held up! I was also stuck in the lined up vehicles because of the ensuing altercation.

“Sadak kya tere baap ki hai?, growled one man, menacingly moving towards the other, while the other also beginning to flex his muscles, I thought to myself, ‘Sorry, boss, we too pay road tax isliye yeh sadak kuchh kuchh hum sab ke papa ki bhi hai!  Hamein toh jaane do!’ But we were all compelled to remain held up for some more time before the traffic cop could handle the situation.

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Once we were stuck in a choc-o-bloc traffic jam, legs were hurting after struggling with the first gear driving all through. There was hardly any scope to try to overtake anyone but a creative person managed to zoom through in an innovative manner when the traffic moved a little faster, scratching my car, hitting the side-view mirror badly. I managed to catch his eye, expecting at least his gesticulated apology but was in for a rude shock when he motioned his arm insultingly at me, glaring!

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

I looked at the make of his car and understood his inflated ego. The man in the Fortuner considered himself fortunate enough to have enough fortunes to own it, thereby, having a larger-than-life ego to look down upon the unfortunate mortal like me driving a not-so-Fortuner Sx4! Controlling my anger, I moved on.

We must never forget that while we violate traffic rules, we create health hazards for self too. A lot of unpleasant scenes take place leading to fights. People driven by road rage become highly insensitive towards fellow roadies. Some are habitual offenders yet the situation-driven, unintentional and occasional violators like me must also be on guard. They must keep themselves oriented about traffic rules.

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Well…err…the other day I was asked to pull over by a traffic cop. He chided me for disregarding the yellow line. Oops, I had not even noticed that I unintentionally violated a traffic rule! Actually, I was in a hurry to reach my office in time and without realizing committed the traffic violation! Or rather, come to think of it, most of us do not even realize the significance of yellow line!

I sheepishly uttered a ‘sorry’. Thank God, the cop could make out that I was neither a habitual nor an intentional violator; so, he let me go with a soft traffic warning. I heaved a sigh of relief. Frankly, having a traffic cop wave me to a stop is a punishment in itself for a law-abiding citizen like me!

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

The other day I was talking to a youngster about this who gave a confused look, “what the heck! What lane driving and yellow line?” I could understand his confusion because I have also seen people changing lanes whenever they can move their vehicle even an inch on the road. Well, so to say! I made him richer with knowledge I had learned in an embarrassing moment myself!

There is one more thing, those opening their driver seat doors every now and then, to empty their mouths of paan/gutka peek must also be booked under an Indian Penal Code! The sight is revolting enough to make their co-roadies to want to throw up! And, it goes against the nation-wide Swachchta Abhiyaan too!

And, what about those who like to bring the heavens down with horns blaring unnecessarily! Please, have a heart and try contributing to bringing down the alarming levels of noise pollution.

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Some people have interesting posts on the back of their cars. One such writing on an old car, which was in the top lane, read, “I will not drive beyond 40 kmph”! True enough, he did not! Annoyingly he was in the top lane throughout. Now, what will you say to that?

As a fellow human being, my heart goes out to our traffic personnel who, we’ll all agree, have a tough duty to perform. We all witness in day to day life, that in the scorching heat, with killing heat waves around, we feel dehydrated even in air conditioned cars but they run around on the roads, risking their health, trying to nab the offenders. Similarly, during severe cold in winters or heavy downpour, their duty becomes tougher. We should have a little compassion for them, at least.

We all stand to benefit by becoming a little more responsible and not indulge in reckless driving. Let’s all take a pledge to be good roadies in our own interest to begin with. The ability to contain one’s temper and be friendly towards co- roadies will go a long way. And, anyway, it is our bounden duty to obey the laws of the land.

Let’s learn to be Happy! - By Suman Arora - https://bit.ly/2sL0Khh

Incidentally what we tend to forget is that the traffic rules have been made to protect us. And, we have a duty to perform towards our fellow roadies by being disciplined drivers.

Driving is a huge responsibility. Let’s resolve to contribute our bit in bringing the positive changes that we wish to see around us on the roads and make the world a safer place to live in.                                                         ****

(The Writer is the Author of two books on human behaviour,

Soul’tweets’ and One Step Higher….) 

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