It is often said that a picture contains a thousand words. Some of the brilliant minds went on to say that a picture depicts what text never can. Wondering why are we talking about images today? Take a look at the image below, which depicts the scene of a typical busy Indian road. So what’s special about it, isn’t it something that we all witness daily. That, folks, is the issue. We have become so insensitive and used to towards the violation of traffic rules that it no longer startles us. Truth to be told, this picture might have just passed as another road scene had not it been emphasised to take a good look at it.
It contains everything that is wrong about India’s roads and its fellow road users. Even after countless government programs, NGO backed initiatives and regular awareness evoking articles by various publications, the situations are more or less the same. Before we proceed further, take a second and make a list in your mind of what all is wrong in the picture. Now match that with the list below:
- Wrong side driving
- No helmet while riding bikes
- Lack of a proper divider
- Multiple wrong overtaking
- No lane discipline
These are things which are common on our roads and the reason behind almost 90 per cent of the accidents in India. Stray animals and poor road conditions are some other major issues but thankfully, they are not a part of this scene. Else, this image would have found a place in the hall of fame in Hell itself! We see a full-size truck overtaking a full-size bus through a wrong lane. The bus itself is driving on the opposite side of the road. A cyclist on the extreme right of the picture is awry to the side he must be on. To spice things up, a woman is having her own little walk walking down the road leisurely. Topping it off are two men on a bike without any helmet or any other protection.
What is not depicted by this picture is driving while talking on a cellphone, driving without seat belts, drunk driving, overspeeding, improper high beam usage and a lot more. To let you know, over A total of 4,64,910 road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in the calendar year 2017, claiming 1,47,913 lives and causing injuries to 4,70,975 persons. The condition is quite grave and yet road users in India have not become serious. The increasing number of vehicles on our roads is further pressing the situation.
How to be a better road user
We as the citizens of India and road users of this country can definitely make the condition much better. A lot of people have now started to follow road and traffic rules and have become more responsible while on the road but that number is still quite small compared to the population of road users.
If you are a car owner, make it a rule to always fasten your seat belt before starting the vehicle. Similarly for bike owners, putting on the helmet before riding is a must. While on the road, keep your full attention on the road. Follow the light signals and other traffic rules religiously. In fact, driving rashly and overspeeding in order to reach a destination only creates a maximum difference of 4-5 minutes as compared to driving calmy and following the traffic rules. Therefore, it is better to arrive a few minutes late than to be in a sorry state. Small initiatives like the ones mentioned above can make a lot of difference if everyone starts abiding by them. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to be a better and smart road user.