Be the change you want to see on the roads

Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 08:01 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Let us shake off this 'distinction' with determination. We need a campaign where each and every stakeholder, the pedestrian, driver, commuter play their part. We must be the change we wish to see in the traffic scenario in the city

Graham Stoker of Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and his wife in a 1903 Humber belonging to A Jasdanwalla at the BKC show to celebrate WIAA's 100 years
Graham Stoker of Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and his wife in a 1903 Humber belonging to A Jasdanwalla at the BKC show to celebrate WIAA's 100 years

The Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) marked 100 years by holding a celebratory meeting at the Taj Mahal hotel in Colaba very recently. Though it was nostalgia time for the automobile club, the issues touched upon were contemporary.

Chief guest and transport commissioner for the state, S Channe voiced his disappointment about the high number of road fatalities in 2018 (over 13,000 people) and the president of the club V Goenka said sarcastically that India had the 'distinction' of being highest in road fatalities.

Let us shake off this 'distinction' with determination. We need a campaign where each and every stakeholder, the pedestrian, driver, commuter play their part. We must be the change we wish to see in the traffic scenario in the city.

The fines for violations have been upped in a bid to curb road deaths. What do we do about our own awareness? One understands that the pedestrian is being squeezed out of the little space left to walk in the city. Yet, let us try to be more responsible while crossing roads.

There is a big onus on two-wheeler drivers who ride on the wrong side of the road, break signals at will and park on footpaths, sometimes even ride on them. Find your conscience. Where is your discipline two-wheelers? Just because you have a vehicle that can vend itself in small spaces, does not mean you have carte blanche on the roads.

The driver, besides the obvious responsibility he has, must adhere to the rules not for others but himself too. The finger is pointing at us. We need to bear a greater part of the burden of bringing down these figures, and we must as people, who use the roads every day, feel invested in this effort. That will play a vital part in seeing a much-needed and looked-forward to decline on the graph.

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