What do you do when people of the largest democracy in this world don’t follow traffic rules properly? Increase penalties and justify the increase too – exactly what Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari did.
Now, I understand that going in the opposite direction on a one-way road, speeding in a school zone, talking on the phone while driving are very dangerous activities. But are the roads fine everywhere too? Are the traffic lights in the entire country working as they should?
The conditions of roads in India are so bad in some places, that accidents occur there on a daily basis. I’ve had first-hand experience with traffic lights not working at a crossroads junction near my place, and there is not even a single traffic police officer handling the situation.
A Few Of Your Rights On Road
If a traffic policeman or any other law enforcement officer takes your keys, you can lodge a complaint against them as it is illegal for any traffic police to take your keys out.
You may deny showing pollution papers to a traffic police constable because that is the RTO’s job, not theirs. Only officers of rank SI and above are allowed to issue challans and spot fines. Even for seizing a vehicle, an SI is a minimum rank needed.
Your license cannot always be taken away. There are some particular offenses like jumping a red light, drink and drive, etc for which your licence can be seized.
Condition Of Roads In India
Cities are highly congested and this is nothing new. But in 2016, every day, 6 lives were lost due to accidents – major reason being potholes on the roads. In a span of 3 years, potholes have claimed more than 11,000 lives and have injured more than 34,000 people.
Travel by road in India is outright dangerous. There is a need for expressways of length 15,000 km to decrease traffic congestion and improve flow.
There are several places where traffic lights malfunction or don’t function at all. At these points, people by default are crazy, and everyone just tries to go first. And people who genuinely need to go urgently, get stuck.
Give Us Proper Roads Before Charging Fines
If hefty penalties are being imposed, there should be proper roads too, for people to follow laws. With the kind of potholes which claim lives, we cannot be expected to not take shortcuts.
I do not aim to justify people taking these shortcuts, wrong way moves, but there are times when these are inevitable.
Fines should be paid by the government if roads have potholes. If someone gets injured due to them, the government should pay for the medical treatments. If potholes are not fixed within a day or two, fines should be paid by the government.
When an ambulance is not able to reach the hospital on time due to a bridge collapse, and the person inside loses their life – well, the government cannot do anything to fix this damage. No amount of money will bring the person back.
There should be a helpline or an app provided by the government to lodge complaints against law enforcement officers too, if they seize licenses without an SI, confiscate vehicles without an ASI or SI, or ask for money to let us go.
There should be fines for stopping the entire freaking traffic to let a minister’s convoy go. How will our ministers know what we go through as common people every single day if they have a very easy travel routine?
I want the government to be fined each and every time streetlights don’t work and there are accidents in the dark due to it.
This is just the frustration of a common Indian citizen who is speaking on behalf of his fellow citizens that if the government can impose fines up to Rs. 40,000 then there should be roads which can let traffic pass without a pothole or a diversion for no reason.
If you have a different perspective regarding this, please let us know in the comments below.
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