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Shouldering the collective responsibility
The callous disregard for traffic rules and regulations has become a major cause of concern over the past few years. The kind of disrespect for laws that have been put in place for the safety of the people by most people is a worrying trend and highlights the need for stricter implementation of the rules and the creation of mass awareness. While cases of two-wheeler accidents resulting from not wearing of helmets are reported in our hospitals on a daily basis, the problem is not confined to motorcycles and scooters alone. In 2011 Arunachal Pradesh recorded 263 cases of road accidents, out of which 126 deaths were recorded. The problem goes much beyond the obvious.
Most two-wheeler injuries do not occur because of non-wearing of helmets but because of rash driving on part of the drivers. It is true that the absence of helmets is what causes people to sustain injuries, the accidents actually happen due to the manner in which people drive. The blame also cannot be put solely on the people riding two-wheelers because even the most careful driver can be a victim of somebody else’s rash driving. It is not always the case that only those who are in two-wheelers are careless as even those behind the steering wheel can be irresponsible.
While two-wheelers are most susceptible to road accidents and injuries and deaths resulting from them, no type of vehicle is above such misfortunes. Talking on the phone while driving or driving under the influence too, can end in tragedy. In fact, accidents involving four-wheelers or bigger vehicles are more likely to cause greater damage than two-wheelers. And while the administration must work diligently and conduct checking on a daily basis, the ultimate responsibility to try and avoid such tragic cases lies on the shoulders of the people themselves. There already exist several commendable laws and rules in our country, the problem is the lack of implementation of those laws and the people’s attitudes towards those laws. What is required now is the overhaul of the implementing agencies and the people’s attitudes. Unless that happens we shall see no progress.