Traffic - A word that stimulates anger, frustration other similar feelings in all sane individuals. Travelling on roads brings out animal tendencies in most people here in Pune as they desperately try to prove that only the fittest will survive. By fittest I mean the one that is the fastest off a red light, best in passing through impossibly narrow gaps in between other vehicles, scaring off pedestrians from crossing roads- just to name a few.
We all use roads to get to a particular destination hopefully in one piece- so the job on hand can be done. This means the travel has to be safe but few are willing to follow rules and ensure safety. Rules are meant for safe passage of zillions of vehicles and not to be a hindrance as most think! It may feel cool to zip past a red light or zoom in the wrong lane but trust me, its certainly not cool to be lying in an ICU.
Only depending on authorities to improve traffic is not enough. Take pride in following rules, give a thumbs up to a co traveller whom you see following rules ( the gesture goes a long way to boost morale), instead of participating in the horn orchestra in a traffic jam, get out an try to sort out the problem and call the police for assistance. If you find an injured person do take him/her to the nearest hospital - a life could be at stake here.
Do leave home well in time, read local papers to look for traffic diversions if any, avoid peak hours if possible. These may sound most unfashionable and simplistic solutions but there is no harm in giving a try is there?
While mobiles have their advantages, talking while driving is highly dangerous. It not only keeps one hand engaged (for those not using hands-free) it diverts attention from the task in hand which can lead to horrible consequences. A few years back we did manage without remaining connected all the time; it still is. Switch off the phone when driving for your own and others safety.
Several NGOs and groups volunteer to help traffic police at peak hours. Do contribute some of your time for this cause. Use public transport wherever possible and opt for car pools.
Just like vehicles (2/3/4 wheeled) it is important that those on foot also be disciplined. Use zebra to cross and only at the green light. Walk on footpaths and not in groups.
The gist of this post is that we are the ones contributing to the increasing and unruly traffic and it is we who have to do something about it. Go back to the RTO and revise and follow rules. Self discipline will work faster and better.
The time for talk is over. Too many lives have been lost. Surely a nation whose people can boast some of the best brains in the world can do this much?
Lets all begin today. Take charge of traffic, let traffic not control you.