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Monday, 15 December 2014

Safety Comes First


It was a lazy Sunday morning. Mr. Karan Mehta a businessman by profession went along with his usual duties in his house which involved reading the newspaper and then going for a morning walk. His son Raj wakes up with groggy eyes and yawns like there’s no tomorrow. Being a 15 year old teenager, he did not have much on his agenda actually. He still wakes up knowing that his father would spill water over him if he continues to act lazy. 

Raj freshened up and just switched on the Television. Mr. Mehta read his newspaper. Everything seemed to be normal. Until all hell broke loose. Mr. Mehta began with his ranting about yet another road accident. Raj was worried as he thought anytime his father’s head would burst like a volcano. He asked “Dad, what’s wrong?”

“Another accident… Damn it!!” was his reply. “Why can’t these people just wear a helmet? Why not drive safely? Is being cool and macho everything? And at what cost does this come to? A life… These idiots don’t know anything!!”

Within a few minutes of hyperventilating, Mr. Mehta calmed down by taking deep breaths until he felt good. Raj was puzzled and asked a question which then laid out for an interesting discussion. He asked, “Dad, what did you mean by drive safely?”

Here is the dialogue sequence.

Mr. Mehta - Son, how many times have you seen me get angry after reading a newspaper?

Raj – Almost every day, Dad.

Mr. Mehta - Do you know the reason why?

Raj – No… why?

Mr. Mehta – It’s because of these road accidents.

Raj – Really? I thought you just rant about anything and everything you see in the newspaper. Thank god for sports news which is always in the last section. I have no tension of shouting and getting angry for such news.

Mr. Mehta – Haha. Son, there are a lot more things than sports in life. Something as following rules, driving safely, saving people etc. Let me tell you a bit about the road accidents in our country.

Did you know that every 4 minutes in India there is a road accident? Almost every hour 15-16 guys like you lose their life for a hasty choice made. Around 400 people die every day which means an entire flight crashes every damn day of the week. Just imagine Raj… We own around 1% of the vehicles in the world. Yet we account for 10% of road accidents in the world. Isn’t this pathetic?

Raj – Dad, I’m astonished. How come so much happens and I’m unaware of these things. No wonder, everyday dozens die in newspapers and all they get is an article in newspapers and bulletins. Dad, can you tell me how can we improve this?

Mr. Mehta – Sure son. Let me tell you some tips we people can follow for a hassle free driving experience.  Fasten your seatbelt.

Raj – What?

Mr. Mehta – That’s the first rule. Did you know that many accidents have been less dangerous due to the driver putting on his seat belt thereby protecting him.

Raj - Wow. That’s great.

Mr. Mehta- Yes. Also we need to maintain a usual driving speed. Rushing too soon always makes us take hasty decisions. Hasty decisions are not always something you should bank on.
There are signals. People in our country do not follow them We in fact hurl abuses at those who stop their cars when the lights reach yellow. That’s bad. Following instructions is what we must do. Reaching 2 minutes late might win you a lot of ranting from your professor, but trust me you have saved your life by following safety protocol. That’s important.

Also, we have head lights and tail lights in our vehicles to give indications to the nearby vehicles about our movement. This is something which can avoid a major disaster at times.
Son, you listening right?

Raj - Yes Dad I am. You've been to the Gulf region too right? Is the experience the same there?

Mr. Mehta – Ahh. Yes son. Thanks for reminding me. You know there they have a 3-4 lane system there. Vehicles with different speed limits only can take one route. You cannot switch from a specific track. If you do, you are fined. There are routes made even for cyclists.

Raj – Wow, Dad when will this system be implemented in India.

Mr. Mehta – Son, it already is!

Raj – Whaaaat?

Mr. Mehta – Yes son. No one follows that here. That’s my point. There are tons of instructions which can help in road safety but what’s the use if we don’t follow the main rule i.e. to follow the instructions. We just want to be quick. We live in the fast lane. All we want is quickness. We can’t be slow. It kills us.

Raj - That’s a shame dad. Your pointers are too good. But no one listens here right?

Mr. Mehta – Yes son. Basically all we have to do is drive properly following the rules, and in that process not get killed by another driver’s rash intentions.

But in our country, we have to make sure that all cars around us are not into racing mode. One wrong turn and the effect can be disastrous. I am tired of looking at bloody pictures everyday of kids your age who don’t even wear a helmet. If they would, they would be alive. But it’s not always what happens.

Raj – Yes Dad. It’s a shame that youth like me are losing their life just for a moment of shine. They try a stunt, they die. They try to take sharp turns, they injure themselves. It’s disheartening to see them fall. Dad, what would you suggest to improve this event from not happening?

Mr. Mehta – Son I can only suggest. The laws are very strict, but still people continue to break laws. My suggestion here would be to assign a dozen traffic cops with good facilities to be at high danger prone areas. If we catch them once, the news will spread and hopefully danger will be evaded. 

Also, police personnel should jail repeat offenders and use social media to show the effects of not following the rules. The social world has taken us all in like a tsunami. Just imagine how would you like if the entire world gets to know that you have been jailed just for skipping a traffic signal? Wouldn’t that be disgraceful to you and your family? You would be the butt of all jokes for a long time.

Thus avoid all this. Just do a little bit for safety. Who knows, your actions might save someone’s life too. 

Raj – Dad that was a great speech. You surely can make a good leader.

Mr. Mehta – Haha, stop it now. Remember, what I told you today must not be forgotten. Pass the word around. Tell them the facts. Let them tell others too. Hopefully times will change.
Raj – I hope they do dad. I hope they do.

This post is written for Indiblogger and Nissan

The Nissan safety driving forum has been an integral part of Nissan in their quest of keeping road safety as the most important factor in terms of driving. They want to bring around a huge change in the mindset of the masses. This program began in 2012 and has by now visited over 7 states in India. This year nearly 6-7 states will witness this activity. Hopefully the whole of India should be completed by 2016. This mission of Nissan has helped stop a lot of accidents simply by motivating drivers all across our country to wear seat belts and ensure safety.
Their main aim is to reduce the fatalities cause by traffic accidents.

Visit their website for more info. Link - Nissan

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Lancelot is a 24 year old post grad who one day was so bored of his life, that he started to write. The writing he thought would be a one time thing. It's been over a year and the writing has never stopped. Professionally in the field of finance, Lancelot aspires to make his family and himself proud. In his free time, Lancelot loves eating food, reviewing them on Zomato, watching various TV sit-coms, writing of course, playing the keyboard music app on his smartphone, reading crime-murder-mystery... maybe romance novels sometimes, watching a lot of sporting events and making time for his near and dear ones. 

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