Road Rage – It is hot outside on the roads

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Sukhdeep Singh

Sukhdeep Singh

Write Something To Right Something

Passionate about playing with words. Sukhdeep is a Post Graduate in Finance. Besides penning down ideas, he is an expert online marketing consultant and a speaker.

I changed my car horn sound to gun shots. People move out of the way much faster now

Undisciplined traffic, no clear protocols, useless traffic lights, vehicles on high-beam, unknown slip roads, no lanes, hawkers on the national highways, overloaded horse carts, and ill-breeds arguing with hooligans; welcome to Indian road system; it is a jungle raj (law of the jungle) here. Why would I call it a Jungle Raj? Excuse me, but what would you call that system where “power and money” rule everything and a common man is a hero only in the movies. The bicycle rider is scared of two-wheeler driver. The car drivers are born to scare the shit out of two-wheel drivers. And, it is a legitimate right of heavy vehicle drivers (buses, trucks, etc.) to drive the way they prefer. It is about inferior and superior complex on the Indian roads; I am driving Audi A6 with a red light given by administration; road belongs to my dad.

Every second day, I see people scuffing on the road for issues like wrong passing, wrong parking, not using indicators, not letting someone overtake, not leaving passage, honking too much horn, driving crazy, etc. A lot of people on driver seat are so full of personal whims and the moment rage overtakes them, they cause literal harm to other fellow travelers. In comparison to overseas countries, where we drivers’ follow a ‘give-way’ trend, in India, people follow ‘take-way’ ideology. We don’t slow down because we are supposed to, but because we are told to; it takes a traffic cop to make us behave sensibly on the road. “Laaton ke bhoot, batton se nahi mante (ghosts of kicks, do not understand the words”). Despite, traffic rule seminars, hoardings, advertisements, road-safety marches and other Government initiative; making someone a rule-abiding driver is still a challenge.

“Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine.” James Dean

No denial, we are becoming impressively impatient and patience is nothing, but another dictionary word, mostly used by primary school students while sketching wall-charts. Why do we hate that 60 seconds’ red light counter so much, is still a question of debate? Should we believe in the psychologists’ reason behind this aggressiveness, it is our social environment making us unforbearing. It is all about culture and surrounding we live in. You can expect a good morning back if you are overseas, but on our side of the continent, it will be considered eve-teasing. I was reading about how German’s react to Ambulance siren the other day; it was amazing to see them forming an emergency lane for an ambulance in case of autobahn (highway) congestion. I bet, most of us have no idea of what straight lines and dashed line road markings are for?

Be it any corner of the world, it is always about choosing from being cooperative or behaving competitively. Unfortunately, most of us fall for the later option; for us, it is all about staying ahead, no matter road or life. According to the area experts, overcrowded road network, chaotic state of traffic, favoritism is given to elite class are few more undeniable reasons behind the drivers’ aggressive behavior. Our media – entertainment section, in particular, is also equally responsible. I find it very hard to understand, how can someone promote road safety in real life and stunts in his/her reel life? Every second movie is about another killing machine – heavy bikes, speedy cars and monster trucks. I am not against advancement, but the question is – can we handle it? Putting a disclaimer of not copying any stunts and then provoking and promoting teens for doing so through dare shows, makes no sense. People do copy them and the result is violent behavior while driving. The problem is becoming so severe that, despite being illegal, most of the drivers are now carrying weapons (sluggers, rods, sticks, etc.). No matter, whether you are a troublemaker or a peacemaker, people won’t give a second thought before assaulting you.

Those who drive slower than me are Morons.
Those who drive faster are Lunatics.

We have enough of lectures, disclaimers, moral value classes, advertisements and social media campaigns. No use of teaching people how to stay calm and then promoting violence; it won’t work. No point of entertaining idiots on the road as well; you cannot fight with everyone, neither can you cooperate with every second moron. Moreover, cooperation being a collective effort sometimes puts you in trouble. Rules are there and most of us do follow them, but those who don’t, they need a good treatment from the legal section. I believe, we are already doing with moral values, discipline classes, and the road-safety campaigns.

We now need something more strict – some sort of psychology test before issuing a license, anyone found positive for anger mismanagement should not be allowed to drive. Implanting of traffic cameras, a proper lane system, no overloaded trucks, tractors and animal carts during peak hours unless there is a separate lane for those, are a few more suggestion. Auto-rickshaw and other short-distance passenger commuting vehicles should not be allowed to stop every now and then and if found guilty, must face harsh penalties for breaking rules. Issuing a few rupees traffic ticket is no way a solution anymore because in most cases offenders challenge that ticket in court and we all know how easily they get rid of it. Along with license cancellation, it has to be imprisonment as well. Road rage is causing us human lives. Let us do something before it becomes a challenge for us to judge whether it is just another day or an ill-fated day.