Road Safety Week must be observed every day
As Mumbai marks Road Safety Week which began in the city from yesterday, the accent is on obeying traffic rules, safe driving, adhering to speed limits, telling motorists and public transport drivers the rules of the road, including inculcating a sense of responsibility. After all, driving does not mean one is responsible only for one’s life, there are others on the road too whose lives are at stake.
Of late, one has seen too many incidents of road rage, car crashes and avoidable accidents either because of speeding, rash driving or ego battles with other drivers on the road. This week, which comes annually, lays stress on current traffic conditions and has a series of workshops for drivers, to apprise them about rules. They also have a medical eye checks and several times, it has been found that drivers need corrective glasses as they are driving around without perfect sight.
While Road Safety Week is a welcome awareness initiative, this city of commuters and heavy traffic must observe a Safety Week every day. Once upon a time, Mumbai’s traffic and motorists were lauded for the smooth way in which they negotiated roads. This city was once the most disciplined when it came to obeying traffic regulations. Today, unfortunately, that mantle has slipped and conditions continue to degenerate.
Let Mumbai try and win back that unofficial ‘crown’. All it takes is some basic discipline and adherence to rules that can make every week in the city a Road Safety Week. The onus for this must be both ways, with the pedestrian and vehicle driver. One agrees that pedestrians face huge challenges in a city, chocked with vehicles and encroached pavements, but they too need to shoulder the burden of keeping roads safe.
They may be more ridiculed and reviled, but in general, our traffic cops do a great job, especially on days when special traffic arrangements are needed, like religious celebrations and events.It should not take a special week to make people aware of fundamentals of safe driving it should be second nature to all those who access our roads. This New Year brought good news, with lesser accidents and a dip in the numbers of drunken driving. Let us strive to make Road Safety Week an every-week occurrence and simply a part of the experience of being on the road, rather than a novelty.