By Anantkrishna D
This has reference to the news report — Automobile sales soar in Indian market; exports jump — published in India Tribune dated June 12.
While the government of India and the Industry Ministry are happy, there are other things that needed to be taken care of to meet the bursting traffic on Indian roads. The Indian highways, city roads and rural roads are in very bad shape. They are narrow, full of potholes and quite often the drivers do not follow road rules. Added to these difficulties, stray cattle and dogs roam freely on the Indian the roads.
The situation on the Indian roads is such that there is no guarantee that people who go out — in vehicles or walk — will return home safely. There is an unnecessary haste for all to reach their destination. For what, nobody knows. The use of mobile phones while on the move, romantic antics while riding vehicles, and joy rides at break-neck speed are some of the causes for frequent road accidents.
Furthermore, it has become easier for two-wheeler riders to get a license. There are no deterrent punitive measures for traffic violations by road users. Unless the two loopholes are plugged, it will be impossible to ensure road safety.
I have seen many two-wheeler riders, mostly without any urgent purpose, taking sharp cuts between four-wheelers in city traffic. They increase the speed to a threatening level with the sole intention of stopping those trying to cross the road.
Driving a four-wheeler in any city is a nightmare as two-wheeler riders swarm around from all directions and you need to have eyes all over. There is no point in blaming traffic policemen, who stand in the scorching sun for hours. The government has to revamp Indian laws to impose heavy penalties on the offenders.
The cyclists are other culprits, who do not care for the traffic rules. They ride the bikes as they like.
There is a need to impart traffic rules to school children. Corruption in the driver licensing offices must be curbed.
And finally, the roads must be maintained properly. There is no point for the government to revel on the increasing production, sale and export of motorized vehicles. There is much needs to be done to ensure safety of road users, including the pedestrians. Indian roads cannot cope with increased vehicular traffic.