Driving responsibly

Last Thursday when I was returning from office, my scooter skidded and I fell. I was very nervous but managed to get back to my scooter. And I drove back home. I was not drunk. Nor was I involved in rash driving. My speedometer never crosses the 40kph mark. When I reached home, I was shocked to see the bruises that the minor accident had caused.

The place where I met with the accident is just a kilometre from my home. It was a gravel road and I suddenly lost my balance. Some years ago, one of my friends too lost his balance and fell off his bike.

But he was not as lucky as I was to be left with only a few bruises. He was hit by truck just as he fell. This is one of the most unfortunate incidents I have come across in my life. Per eyewitnesses, there was no fault on the part of my friend. He simply lost control of his bike because the road was muddy and the truck could not apply the brake on time.

I lost my friend, a mother lost her child, the family lost a beloved member. It was all due to that muddy road.

Statistics suggest that nearly a quarter of the road accidents happen due to potholes, mud, uneven roads, and the three quarters of road accidents happen due to rash driving and drunk-drinking.

When those who drive carelessly or under the influence of alcohol meet with an accident, people often blame them. There are laws also to control these. But what laws are there for unmaintained roads and accidents due to them? It seems there is no one to take responsibility for this. Isn’t this the responsibility of the government and its agencies to ensure that the tax paid by the people is spent on their safety?

This issue of not maintaining road is not new. It’s been there for decades. Whenever the road office blacktops a certain section of the road, the electricity department people come and start digging it for installing poles or laying wires. If not the electricity department, the municipality will come and start digging to fix sewage, or the water supply office will start laying pipes. There seems to be utter lack of coordination among the government agencies. The government agencies must pay attention to safety of riders and maintain roads regularly.

Since the day I met with the accident, I have become even more cautious while riding my scooter. As there seems to be no one to take responsibility of bad roads, I am the one who might be held responsible in case of an accident.