Road accidents are quite a menace and the statistics seem to prove the same with some documentations claiming India as the country which records the highest number of road accidents in the world. I wouldn’t argue as to how true it is and do we have to check the credibility of the resources for this info.
For me, the bigger questions are why and how do we go about resolving it? Considering the why, we could blame the poor quality of roads- there are no sufficient two lanes, the signalling system is a little out of sync, people don’t follow it very well, the roads are pretty pathetic with the potholes and people trying to avoid them, the enforcement is a little lax and the corruption and bribing do play a considerable role around, the number of increasing young drivers who don’t even have their license and scores of reasons more. And yeah how can I forget the biggest menace- Alcohol induced driving.
Now that the reasons are established to a certain extent, the next idea is about looking at the solutions. Of course the natural solutions are the widely published ones- having a double lane roads, frequent inspections, punishments, stringent measures, making better roads, installing proper signalling systems……….. The solutions too are aplenty. How about the alcohol induced driving? How do we put a check on that?
We have seen that the number of accidents that happen on a new year eve are at their peak, thanks to the alcohol and the drive. So what we do is we have a patrol for that which gets very active during this time of the season and the checking is pretty strict and so are the punishments. Recently I saw checking happening here in Mysore on the days when there are events, parties are held. That sure is one good way to reduce the number of drunken drivers. But what else could we add to make it more effective?
I was watching the cartoon Simpsons, in particular an episode where Moe (Bartender) asks who among the group was the designated driver and the rest of the people were supplied alcohol except the designated driver. That seems like a sensible idea to me. Instead of having people to check and punish after the error has been made, why not put a proactive measure and stop the mistake even before it happens. I mean do not supply any alcohol to the driver/ designated driver. The rest may merry but we could atleast be sure that there are responsible hands behind those wheels. I do agree it is not going to work everywhere. Infact there sure are a lot of road blocks in that coming true. But I am of the belief that change must start somewhere and if that somewhere is this starting point, isn’t it worth trying out?