When we were born we couldn’t move on our own, we used to cry or make noise so that someone would pick us in their arms and take us for a ride. Slowly we grew up, started crawling, it was a new experience, exploring the unexplored regions of our house on our own, thinking of ourselves to be adventure explorers. With time we started to walk, run and jump too. Most of us would have gone out of the house with elders, who would hold our hands and make us walk, keeping us on the left side, away from the traffic so that we do not get hurt. They taught us how to turn, look to the left, to the right, and again to the left, and when we are sure that no vehicle is coming, we would eventually hit the cross the roads.
These things were religiously followed by most of our elders when they used to have us with them because even a small mistake could have been very harmful. Then we learned cycling, the art of balancing, the use of horn( trin trin, trin trin), which we actually used to enjoy honking, and also the use of indicator(well actually we used to use our hands as indicators and not the actual light indicators in those times). By this time, we would have had a basic understanding of how the road traffic works, how people drive their vehicles, how the traffic on road and in residential areas functions. Then with time came the motor vehicles, two-wheelers, 4-wheelers, which help us in traveling from one place to another.
Vehicles give us the feeling of independence, we can go anywhere we want, anytime we want to. Now let us think, what if we didn’t have legs? What if we didn’t have eyes to watch? What if we didn’t have ears to hear? What if we didn’t have hands ? What if we didn’t have a single finger in our hands? Just close your eyes and imagine yourself in such a condition. Will you be as independent and as confident as you are today? Will you be able to travel wherever you want to? Whenever you want to? The answer is NO. You maybe thinking that why am I asking all this. Well, there are many people who lost something or the other in road accidents, many lost their families, many lost their freedom, and many lost their confidence. This may not be due to their own fault but due to a simple act of negligence of someone or even themselves.
The etiquette of driving or traveling on the road shouldn’t be something that the government should impose upon us with stricter norms rather it should be the prime responsibility of each human being. Road safety has been very important for a long time and have excelled in road engineering. We have been incorporating technology to monitor traffic, creating a streamlined process for the people to follow so that people face minimum obstruction during their journies and roads remain safer. This cannot be done without people’s participation. It is us who need to step up and know about the traffic rules and religiously follow them.
Governments create better processes, better rules, stricter implementation but still, we see that if there is no speed breaker, people won’t limit their vehicle speed to the road speed limit. If there is no road divider anywhere then we would drive the vehicle in an unruly manner on the road, be it the right side or on the left side. We simply become ignorant and need someone to tell us the right thing. However, obviously no one would come to us in the middle of the road to tell that we are going on the wrong side until Yamraj comes in and takes you for the eternal ride.
When we are in traffic, we keep pressing the horn even after seeing that it won’t create any difference as the road ahead is jam-packed with vehicles. Though it is useless but still we keep honking, this shows nothing but restlessness, lack of patience in us. The moment you see yourself doing this, please be warned that it’s time to start practicing yoga because anxiety and restlessness are not good friends to keep. Irregular and unnecessary honking is counted as an offense and contributes to noise pollution, and is gradually making our cities noisy and harming our own ears. Please give it a thought, have patience on the road, don’t honk. If you need to reach somewhere at a scheduled time then start early, this will keep you calm and composed and help you in your day to day activities.
When we are on a turn, we just drive our vehicles across without giving indicators and very frequently without even slowing down and giving horns. Just imagine that you are running at full speed and somebody jumps in front of you, what will happen? You will bump into them, hurt them and yourself. Now just imagine the same situation but this time the person doesn’t jump in front of you rather screams, slows down and warns you saying, “beware I am coming, beware I am coming”, what will you do? For sure, you will be alerted and will decrease your speed, brace yourself to avoid bumping. This is the same logic when you drive your vehicles at turns, switch On the indicator, give horn, slow your speed down, try to listen if there may be someone on the other side of the turn who might be coming and giving horn. This will save you and others from an accident and save lives. Traffic lights(Red, Yellow, Green) are meant to help us drive smoothly without any tension or pressure. Stop line, Zebra Crossing, they tell us where to stop, where to walk, so that a standard is maintained and followed, minimizing the accidents and losses. There is so much on road traffic rules that even a book would be less.
The end goal of all of this is to have safer roads, to ensure that someone who leaves their home in the morning for work would come back home safely in the evening to their family who waits for them with eyes full of hope and love. Let us pledge to follow traffic rules, drive safely, stop honking, use indicators and lights judiciously, be patient on roads, give people way, smile, and let others smile so that all of us remain with a calm and composed mind and drive safely. I hope that after reading this, you will start practicing road safety.