Monday February 26, 2024

Let’s become caring drivers

May 08, 2019

Many people are killed every year on our roads, in what we call road mishaps or accidents. The same person, so kind and considerate in ordinary life, suddenly becomes an unfriendly fellow when driving a vehicle.

After all, what is it in our mind that makes us drive the way we do on the city roads? What occurs to us when we get behind the steering wheel? There are, of course, simplistic reasons why we drive the way we do, and yet these are not justifications. Most drivers are aware of something called ‘rules of the road’ or forget what they are.

“When I drive the car it gives me more power than I could ever have and much more than I can handle. It becomes a weapon in my hands. Of course the bigger and more powerful the weapon, the better,” says Shabbar Zaidi, a college student.

“Even simple bus drivers have over one hundred passengers at their mercy, whom they can terrify and make sick at will, as they indulge in over-speeding and overtake at the same time, not to mention every other road user, with or without a vehicle,” adds Shabbar Zaidi.

“I think one reason is that it is perceived to be manly to drive a vehicle at an indecent speed in order to draw attention to ourselves. Actually, what it displays is inferiority complex. It also shows us as an irresponsible, uncivilized and callous guy,” says Nasser Shah, an official of the Cantonment Board.

“The state of our roads and the state of our vehicles can also be cited for blame. Public transport running on bad roads and with bad brakes is an accident waiting to happen. Unmarked speed breakers that send two wheelers flying into the air are another danger.

These are the obvious result of utter negligence and shameless disrespect for human life,” says Baqir Rizvi, a banker. “Mind you, we also have idiots jaywalking all over the place. We have to put up with them on daily basis? I don’t know whether there are any rules and punishments for jaywalkers.

There must be some, if there are none as the jaywalkers are generally at the receiving end of our manoeuvrings behind the wheel,” says Haider Imam, a government employee from Satellite Town.

Samar Hussain, from Dubai, now in Rawalpindi says: “It is very easy to change things. Think of, aggressive drivers, and indifferent jaywalkers in the city, when they get abroad they miraculously turn into law-abiding citizens there. Simply because in foreign lands driving tests are tough, laws are implemented rigorously and punishment is severe and exemplary and it doesn't matter who you are, or your uncle is.”