THE Supreme Court feels that the two years imprisonment now meted out for causing death due to rash driving is ‘grossly inadequate’. I agree, but would like to define what the police believe is rash and negligent driving, and what actually happens on the road when an accident takes place.
Since I have been driving most of my life, I’ve seen my share of accidents and have also been involved in one, where I had to face police and court, through no fault of mine. According to the law, roads are meant for driving and certain designated spots like pedestrian crossings, subways and over-bridges are meant for pedestrians to cross.
But where do pedestrians actually cross? For a driver, it is not the other car or truck he has to avoid, but the hundreds of men and women who keep crossing in front of him all the time, all over our country. More than the motorist, the pedestrian thinks he owns the road.
Come with me to any country outside our Indian sub-continent, you will hardly see a single person walking or crossing the road. Who regulates this? The police. Sadly, if the police and government have no will to regulate people from using roads meant for traffic, shouldn’t it be they who should be taken to task?
Shouldn’t the learned judges be asking the government why they are not safe guarding citizens? Shouldn’t the government be answerable for not clearing pavements for people to walk on, and not implementing they cross only at certain points? Rash and negligent driving! Yes, I condemn such drivers, but how fast can you drive ‘rashly’ with traffic jams and a road full of people?
When a child slips into a well, or is drowned in a river, who is blamed? The parents of course, for not keeping their child from the well or dangerous river. In the same way, the government and police are like our parents, their job is to protect and safeguard us from danger, and have to continually regulate and discipline us to keep us away from the dangerous road and traffic. But does the police do that? Does the government do that?
How convenient to blame the motorist all the time, when my first question would be, what was that man or woman doing on the road? When someone is run over on a railway line, is the railways blamed? Never. They actually fine the dead man’s family for trespassing. If the engine driver is not blamed, why blame the road driver?
So dear judges of the Supreme Court, penalize the government, deal harshly with the police for not doing their work, and only when proved beyond doubt the motorist was actually driving rashly and negligently, then and only then punish him..!