mid day editorial: Could we please obey the rules?
That is precisely what commuters fail to do
Mind the gap, is a common, all-pervasive warning at most Railway stations in the West. In Mumbai, there are warnings about not alighting from or boarding a moving train. Both amount to the same thing – mind the gap. That is precisely what commuters fail to do.
A report in this paper detailed how commuters at Vasai station bore witness to a teenager's brush with death. The 18-year-old slipped into the gap between train and platform but survived with minor injuries. This despite five compartments of the train he had alighted from passing by before it stopped.
The boy hailed from Gujarat and was here to meet his sister. He alighted from the running train as it was pulling in at Vasai station, and fell into the gap. His cries alerted other passengers who pulled the chain.
He has had a fortuitous escape. Others have not been so lucky. There is a reason why commuters are asked to mind the gap. There is a very real danger of slipping into it. Commuters fail to assess the speed of the train. They think that the platform is accessible so they may as well jump on to it. The train is faster than you think. Alighting or boarding is not acrobatics.
We see warnings like these at BEST bus exits, too. Today, these red buses are not as crowded as they were earlier. Yet, we do see commuters jogging alongside the bus, as it moves from the bus stop trying to get a grip on the handle and hop into it.
Desist from dangerous and lethal stunts when using public modes of transport. In trains, there may be a rush on platforms, there may be other commuters rushing to board while you are trying to alight from the moving train, doubling the danger to yourself. Nothing is worth your life or limb. Respect warnings and rules, the only beneficiary of that dictum is you.
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