The empty streets in our cities must be breathing a sigh of relief these days. For the resounding sounds of abuses being hurled at each other, laced with the background noise of those behind honking at them has been replaced by calming sounds of birds chirping. Once we are back to business as usual though, here’s what we can do to keep the sanity alive and drive like thorough gentlemen and women:
As if the population of our country isn’t enough to suggest that we are probably the horniest nation in the World, we confirm it by sounding our car’s horn like it’s a device built for pleasure. It’s not! What you are thinking of is the audio system. If not that, you have a dirty mind. Some are so forced by the habit, their hands reach for the horn pad automatically, every 5 seconds! The next time if you are behind a car which has stalled at a red light that has turned Green, don’t honk as the soundwaves will automatically blow the car ahead out of your way. Needless to say, the person you are honking at isn’t out on to the road to stop his/her car unnecessarily and block traffic. Also, the constant honking makes a person either too nervous or so angry, it’s one of the biggest reasons behind road rage.
There are also those who drive with the headlights set to high beam and like that wasn’t enough, with the fog lights on while crawling behind another vehicle at a speed of 5 km/h on a well-lit road! What is it that you’re trying to see?
There are those who wait at a red light in the rightmost lane, only to realise that they have to go left at that very junction. So they swerve like it’s nobody’s business and interrupt the flow of traffic to annoy everybody else. There are those who drive so unpredictably, not even God can predict their trajectory. Every time you have to switch lanes, use your mirrors first and then indicate. Whichever direction you have to turn, place your car in that lane in advance. Don’t be in the middle lane and obstruct traffic which has to move forward, while you wait for your signal to allow you to turn. Be mindful of bikers and make way for emergency vehicles when you hear one approaching. If you wait until you can see it, it’s too late. Whenever you park, be considerate towards moving traffic and other parked vehicles around you.
Jumping a red light, overspeeding, not stopping before the white line at a red light, driving on the wrong side and all other such acts are recorded on cameras these days. For those whose cars have been registered recently, they are sent a text with the fine amount to be paid, almost immediately. For those whose car registration data is not so comprehensive, don’t think that you’re getting away with it because cops these days carry devices which are linked to a central database which records all the violations of a particular vehicle through its captured registration number. There are also those who slip the seatbelt behind their backs to buckle it and quickly pull it forward when they see a cop. And these are not just cab drivers, a massive number of well-informed people do it too!
Since we have time to reflect these days, maybe it’s also time that we make integrity an inseparable part of our lives. Why can we not do the right thing even after the lockdown’s over? Why can’t we respect years of evolution and do the right thing even when nobody’s watching? Why do we always use the windscreen washer when bikers are around and the car is stationary in traffic?