Put a brake on road rage

Recently, a drunk auto driver in Govandi jumped the queue and got into a fight with another auto driver who was awaiting his turn to take a passenger. The inebriated man assaulted the driver so furiously that by the time the Govandi police took the latter to the hospital, he had died. The victim was identified as Imran Ali Sheikh (20) and the accused as Shahaji Galande (25).

In another incident, a bank employee based in Goregaon assaulted a truck driver with a beer bottle, after crashing into the truck in an attempt to overtake it. Ironically, the victim survived with stitches, while the person who assaulted him died of heart attack while being taken to the police station.

The incidents were reported by this paper, and there is a common thread that runs through both road rage. Road rage is a growing problem in the city, with vehicle owners, losing it on the roads, often with very serious, extreme and tragic consequences, as both these examples show.

Road rage is just a kernel in a larger malaise absolute intolerance of the other's point of view, overpowering, blind anger, resulting in extreme actions. The stress of contemporary living, traffic conditions in Mumbai, space crunches, crowded roads are all challenges, but they are no excuse for getting into fisticuffs; such disputes should be resolved verbally or within the ambit of the law.

Road rage is one arm of the growing violence in society. The smallest, most innocuous, issue is enough to set people off in very dangerous ways. It is not up to just the police or authorities to control this. They can control traffic conditions to a certain degree and ensure discipline. However, they cannot control a person’s mind. One needs to put a premium on life and limb. Human life is not cheap, and let us not treat it like it is.

Road rage is an impulsive act. Put restraint and calm into gear, to put a brake on such sickening actions.

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