Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving
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A three year old kid was mowed to death yesterday after he came under a school bus. Without going into the specifics of this case and without casting aspersions and making allegations, the fact is and remains that there is reckless driving in Kashmir. This phenomenon cuts across vehicle types, profiles of motorists, drivers and class. Almost every motorist in Kashmir is implicated in it. Given the scale and frequency of reckless driving in Kashmir, it is a surprise that the ratio of accidents is smaller to the proportion of this kind and type of driving. The reasons, in the main, for reckless driving here are multifarious: first, the volume of motor cars and motorists thereof has drastically increased in Kashmir, on account of an assorted set of reasons which include rather liberal consumer lending by banks and somewhat of economic growth which has made some people prosperous enough to buy motor cars; second, is demographics, that is, a general across the board growth in population growth; the third reason is that the road infrastructure remains stagnant, generally speaking stretching its absorptive capacity. Last , but not the least(perhaps the most important) is erratic, rather lawless driving by motorists. It amounts to stating the obvious that bad driving is thematic across the length and breadth of Kashmir. Be it jumping queues in a traffic clogged road, brazen but unnecessary over taking, jumping traffic lights, undertaking, bad parking and so on, all of us are familiar with and victims of these. The result is a free for all atmosphere and driving environment where for some motorists its is akin to “ my way or the high way. There are costs associated with this driving behavior. Least of all, driving becomes an unpleasant experience here but more importantly, the potential for accidents, even and especially fatal ones, becomes alarmingly acute. There has to be a check on reckless driving in Kashmir but this check can come from both the top and the bottom, so speak. In terms of the former, traffic administrators must not work in silos. From the supply side, licenses and their disbursal must be made on stringent and vigorous testing and examinations, both theoretical and practical and these should correspond to a point based system where points would be shaved off a motorist if he or she indulges in reckless driving. Awareness drives must be instituting to make people aware of the problems of reckless driving. In terms of the latter, people must also do their bit and make themselves more aware about traffic rules and so on. In the end, reckless driving helps no one and makes everyone worse off. It is about time that the issue is taken seriously and dealt with.

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