The head is yours

The year is in its last week and our roads have already turned bloody with a spate of accidents in the past few days. From mo'bike riders and their pillion passengers to car drivers, several have perished across the city.

With the city in party mode thanks to Christmas and New Year, the police are gearing up to tackle drunk driving and rash driving on our roads as the party animals get ready to roar -- on two and four wheels across Mumbai. While there may be certain factors which are beyond the driver's control when it comes to car or bike crashes, let us stress that it's time to realise that the onus of safe and sensible driving lies with you.

Why should the police dangle the threat of fines and possible imprisonment for drunk driving? Are drivers not responsible for their lives and those of others? Why should the scepter of punishment always force one to obey rules? Drivers need to obey rules because they are made for a sound reason.

While several mo'bike riders wear helmets (again, because of penalties) pillion riders do not wear them at all. This makes them vulnerable. With the police still struggling to enforce the helmet rule for riders, one cannot foresee the pillion rule being followed. It is time people themselves realised the gravity of riding helmet-less and started wearing helmets themselves. 

Similarly, the seat belt rule has been in force for long, but there are educated, urbane people, old enough to get a licence but still foolish enough not to wear seatbelts. It is not the authorities that need to keep an eye on you all the time, it is time you yourself did. 

So, safety begins and rests with you. Do not let others safeguard your life. As a top police official once said about mo'bike riders who were caught without helmets,"The rule may be ours, but the head is yours."

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