Indian Roads – High Fear Factor

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In the last five years a project named ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ has been in operation. The scope of this project is to link all four corners of the country via road network including world class highways. The project has support from all political parties.

The need to increase the road network is based on two critical factors which carry equal weight. One being the necessity to connect far flung areas and the second being the need to take fruits of booming economy to all citizens of the country.

Recent years have also seen an increase in road traffic in India. The number of vehicles plying the roads has increased dramatically. What we have also seen is the numerous types of vehicles that are moving on the road. This mix and match causes major traffic issues and leads to poor driving quality. Indian roads are not just meant for vehicles, we also see stray animals walking freely and frequently becoming a traffic hazard.

Comparing relatively Metro traffic may be better off than non metro traffic. The conditions deteriorate rapidly as we go away from urban areas.

Although rules and regulations exist but lack of knowledge and enforcement creates big problems. Traffic authorities are being stretched to their limit to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the roads.

Another issue that has been severely compromised is the safety of the driver and the pedestrian. Again lack of knowledge of rules, weak enforcement and disregard for pedestrian life is a major cause of concern.

All is not as bad as it sometimes seems to be. Traffic in Metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkatta is disciplined and orderly. Of course there are exceptions but majority of the drivers do comply by driving rules.

Fast paced life and lower levels of patience cause driver frustration which comes out as road rage. There have been some shocking incidents involving road rage. Media has projected these as in human and insensitive cases and it is correct.

Nevertheless there is still scope for improvement. We can all contribute our bit and collectively make a significant difference. If we assume that getting a driving license in India is our right then we must also understand that knowledge of rules and sensible driving is our duty. How many of us have undergone a proper driving test for obtaining a driving license?

Driving in India should be stress free and not froth of danger. We must take serious note of driving attributes from western countries and implement these in India.

Let’s make driving pleasurable.

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