Despite commendable efforts by the Traffic Police Department to enforce safety regulations and ensure compliance, our roads are far from being safe and thousands of innocent lives continue to perish while more others are left permanently maimed.
Road accidents kill indiscriminately – from infants to the aged; from the able-bodied to the disabled. They decimate our resourceful, energetic and youthful manpower. They leave only sorrow in their wake. That’s how bad they are. It is least amusing to read police reports about the accidents that end with the same old story that always reads: “The police are investigating to establish the cause of the accident’’!
The public would have expected the police force, especially its traffic department, to know about the causes of accidents before and after they happen. After all, drivers and passengers would testify to the presence of the men and women in white traffic police uniform along our highways and even minor roads. Their job is exactly that – to monitor speed and roadworthy state of all the vehicles that ply along our roads and book proven offenders. What is most annoying is the fact that despite all these measures, accidents still do happen -- and at sickening frequency.
What is wrong, therefore? Of course, the results of the same old “police are investigating the cause of the accidents’’ story would point to reckless driving (including speeding), driving defective vehicles and failure to observe road safety signs. Most often, booked motorists, including those whose vehicles are involved in the accidents, escape with very light jail sentences with option of ‘generous’ fines that they can promptly pay only to be seen driving, and dangerously again, the next day! Accidents are not a ‘grin and bear it’ thing. They are a serious issue.
They kill. They maim. Sometimes they destroy expensive road signs and such important installations as bridges and communication posts. More punitive measures are needed to ensure road safety compliance. These should include stiffer penalties like lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines. And how about confiscating the driving licences of the culprits for a ‘safe’ period of time?