Responsibility on the road is not just towards one’s own self but also to the other motorists and pedestrians.
When it comes to road safety and the changes required, there are two main perspectives to look forward to. The steps required to bring about a change by the government (be it better rules and regulations, road safety measures, strict punishment to the defaulters, etc) or the steps required to bring about a change by us.
Improvement is required in both the areas, steps taken by the government won’t help if we don’t change along as well. I would rather emphasize that our role to bring about a change is bigger. Reason being that the rules and regulations laid by the government are well established and very thoughtful on paper, it’s just that everything doesn’t go too well on the implementation level. Even if new rules, regulations and laws come up for the better, it would take a great deal of effort to bring about a real change at the implementation level. It is required, and we should be positive that things will get better, but it’s just that it is easier to change ourselves first.
Let me discuss my own example to start with. As we are discussing road safety, I would like to simply point out what makes me feel unsafe, and what makes me feel safe when I am driving on road:-
Elements that make me feel unsafe:-
- When a car crosses with a very high speed, and it wasn’t really required as I was driving at a decent speed.
- Car overtaking from the left.
- When its green light for me and a car comes in my way because it’s not following the lights.
- When I am travelling without proper documents/license (Although I never drive without a license, but that because I know it will make me feel unsafe).
- When I am not very well informed about the routes I am taking.
The first three points can be easily dealt with if everyone drives under ideal conditions, following every rule and regulation, including the speed limit. But then that difficult, even I get tempted to drive fast at times, cross red lights, but then I simply remember that the very same things make me feel unsafe when done by others and that’s what encourages and motivates me to drive sensibly. The fourth point, is about being well informed and aware about the documents you need to have while driving, so as to be prepared for all kind of scenarios and also to avoid the traffic police to get the better of you. “Good ethics”. The fifth point, is also very important, its like having a good road sense, knowledge about locations and alternate routes gives you a great deal of confidence and confidence helps a lot while driving. Now, I am not the best person to preach anyone on this, because to be frank this is where I struggle the most. I am still developing my knowledge and sense of routes and locations, and often end up in adventurous road trips. But each of those trips where I go wrong is a learning experience in itself. I am getting better 😛
One thing however that I would like to advise people like me who are developing their knowledge of routes and locations, just start being more observant when you are on road and not driving. It helps a lot. I had a very bad habit of not following this, but I am trying to change, when I travel with parents or friends and they are driving and I am not, I try and be more observant about the surroundings and the routes taken.
Elements that make me feel safe:-
- Seat Belt: I don’t wear it just for the sake of it, I wear it because yes, it makes me feel safe. This is very importnant to understand, a lot of people among us think that “seat belt to bas pahanni padti hai taki police wala na padak le” that is not the case, it is for our own safety and we need to believe in that.
- Being aware about all the documents required while driving:
- The Delhi Traffic Police is very active online, their social media presence is exceptional. If they are doing so much for us, it is our duty at least to be well informed.
- Facebook Page: Delhi Traffic Police
- Website: https://delhitrafficpolice.nic.in/
- Documents Required: https://delhitrafficpolice.nic.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/documents-req.-while-driving.pdf
- Driving License
- Pollution Certificate (Valid for 3 months or 6 months)
- Insurance papers
- The website is worth browsing. do have a look at all the information it provides.
- If you have a CNG Car:
- Hydro Tested CNG Cylinder: Make sure your CNG Cylinder is hydro tested as per rules and regulations.
- Compliance Plate: Make sure you have a valid compliance plate, in order to get CNG from CNG Stations.
- I did a detailed post on the same here: How to get your CNG Car Hydro Tested and get a Compliance Plate?
- Medical Kit and Stepney: Just to be prepared for the worse. We should also know how to change the tyre. It helps in situations of emergency and also gives you confidence that we can handle such situations if they arise.
- Know traffic rules, and traffic offences: Always be well informed.
These points might not be directly inclined or intuitive towards good road safety habits or good driving habits, but believe me, following them makes me feel better as a driver and that helps me drive more sensibly. It is more of an indirect effect, but the effect is what that matters.
NISSAN SAFETY DRIVING FORUM
The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion activities. The program began as an annual activity in 2012. In its initial phase it covered three main Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India.
This year, NSDF would reach 8 new cities – Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi. The overall reach and engagement levels have phenomenally grown and NSDF has effectively reached close to 2 lakh citizens. It continues to stay committed to its core objective of promoting safe driving behavior in India.
Some highlighting achievements of NSDF:-
- Compared to the previous year, NSDF has witnessed an impressive 126% growth in the sensitization of wearing seat-belts.
- NSDF also conducts live simulated experiences to understand how safety features function through a simulated car crash.
- Under its Blue Citizenship CSR umbrella, NSDF by Nissan works to build awareness of safe driving in India.
- NSDF encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts, and participants learn through interactive activities the importance of wearing seat-belts.
Satyamev Sayate Episode on “Road Accidents or Murders” discussed the same issue. It encouraged and motivated people towards the importance of road safety. Some good initiatives were advised and highlighted as steps that should be taken by government to bring about a change. [Read this] [Read this]
Some encouraging articles to read: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/road-accidents-or-murders/episode-2allrecomends.aspx
Change.org petition highlighting the same issue: here