Deaths on the roads have been a matter of concern and India has the distinction of ranking among those countries where the casualty rate is unacceptably high. There has been quantum growth in vehicle population; roads getting wider and better so is the number of accidental deaths. Jammu and Kashmir too is no different where people hardly give any concern for traffic laws. Much of the blame for such high rate of accidents can be laid on the shoulders of the drivers especially the younger lot who won’t hesitate to zip fast on a two-wheeler between the two speeding vehicles and if they are successful there is a victory grin otherwise every knows what the climax is. They won’t hesitate to over-speed, text while driving, jump lights, go the wrong way thus becoming a safety hazard for self as well as for others. Generally our driving habits are bad. The absence of adequate policing makes it easier to get away after breaking the law. In any case, punishment for motor vehicle-related offences is not sufficiently a deterrent. The process of issuing driving licences has been strengthened somewhat in select cities, but it is still not stringent enough to adequately test licensed drivers for both their skills and attitude. A societal change has to take place where bad drivers are called out, and generally the message that the “chalta hai” attitude towards bad drivers is replaced by a no-nonsense approach that spares nobody. Enforcement of traffic rules must be given priority since such offences are very visible, and how they are dealt with sets the tone for policing in other areas. Using technology-cameras, radars, and other devices-can add much to the policing effort at minimal cost. One should not forget the cost others pay for their actions while using roads.
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