India has this strange thing going that says ‘It happens only in India'. It is good for a few unique things like how talented people achieve things for the country and how people have helped people.
On the contrary, there are idiots who do really stupid things and quote the same. A few people actually have no idea about the consequences of their own action and end up learning it the hard way or sometimes never really get a chance because it's too late.
Even average commuters take road safety for granted and follow things like wearing a seatbelt or a helmet only because of the fear of getting booked by the police and not keeping safety in mind.
So here are a few things that we do while driving or riding, keeping police in mind but not safety:
1. We wear seat belts only when police are around:
Admit it, majority of us do it. Reason—we get fined for not wearing it. One thing people need to know is that this rule is for safety and not to generate revenue for the government. Or do people actually think accidents don't happen where cops are absent? Wear your seat belt! Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime!
2. Only the driver wears the seatbelt!
Why? Will only the driver suffer injuries and nobody else? All occupants will suffer injuries in an accident, regardless if you sit in the front, rear or drive! There is a reason why carmakers provide seatbelts for every seat and that is to wear it and keep yourself alive!
3. Wearing helmet improperly:
Coming to the two-wheeler enthusiasts now. Many buy an expensive lid to go with the motorcycle, but wear it like clowns! What is the use? And then there are bunch who wear helmets but don't strap em. An accident will impact your head and the helmet is going to come off—the only thing between life and death after that will be your head, which the tarmac is going to get the better of that!
4. Only rider wearing a helmet and not pillion:
This is something similar to passengers not wearing the seat belt. Again, even if the pillion does not wear a proper helmet that is strapped, it's going to be the tarmac again that will win. Or take it this way, the wind won't mess up your hair. Convincing?
5. Not wearing the right helmet:
This is for the bunch of ‘idiots elite'. What is wrong with a proper full face helmet that fits correctly? Instead, they chose to ride with cricket helmets, construction helmets and even things that don't even resemble a helmet! This is a clear act to avoid being fined. A proper helmet that protects the whole head is what the authorities have to enforce now.
6. Riding triples on a motorcycle:
The motorcycle is meant for two carry two people and that is what the authorities are enforcing. Taking more than two people on a two-wheeler in the absence of police is not advisable. Too many riders (including pillion riders) is the perfect recipe for an accident!
7. Overloading vehicles:
When vehicles are designed to carry a certain number of occupants, carry that many only. There are many vehicles on highways and even in the city itself that carry one too many people or goods when they know police are not around. Try overloading vehicles where police are, there are good chances of the police overloading you with a fine or unloading the vehicle and impounding it.
8. Jumping signals or stopping at a red light only when police are there:
It's like magic—nobody bothers when there is only a red traffic light, but when there is a red traffic light and a policeman, vehicles come to a halt magically! Wow. Jumping a signal and getting run over by another vehicle will happen and injuries will be sustained with or without the policeman's presence. Imagine jumping a red light and there is a truck coming your way. Keep that in mind and one will automatically stop at every red light.
9. Overtaking on the left:
There are times I have wondered and may be others too. Why don't people overtake police vehicle from the left and just other vehicles? Because one would get jacked! That's why. It is illegal to do so in India, and when one has done it and says ‘it happens in India', you might want to do something to help that poor soul understand accidents and fatalities happen in India too.
10. Speaking on the mobile phone under the helmet or while driving:
Think that's going to save you from the cops? Well, it may but wonder how it will save you and your family's life? Ever thought about that? Disconnect the phone before it disconnects your life.
11. Overspeeding on highways, slowing down only when police are there:
Ever experienced a vehicle travelling at a high speed and then all of a sudden it slows down? If yes, that's because the driver was overspeeding and he spotted cops! He slowed down in a rash manner to avoid getting fined. So why not drive under the speed limit in the first place?
12. Driving drunk:
This particular reason does not need any explanation at all. Just forget the car or motorcycle if alcohol comes to the mind. The only reason a few do this is because they get caught and fined, but not thinking about safety.
13. Riding on the foot path:
It's called a foot path for a reason and vehicles are not supposed to go on it. It's just quite funny how people realise that only when they see traffic cops around.
14. Vehicle fitness not up to date:
Vehicle fitness is checked to ensure the vehicle is good enough to be used on public roads. Not because you get a charge sheet. It is done to ensure you are safe to use that vehicle and other road users are safe too.
15. Stunts on public roads:
A very common thing that happens on roads are people performing stunts. My question is, why not try that inside a police compound if it's cool? If any one calls that talent, I would call it stupidity because real talent like that would be showcased in a closed environment, away from public roads, keeping people away from harm's way.
16. Illegal accessories:
There are plenty of people who think cars look cool when modified beyond necessity. People choose loud horns, change the colour of the blinker, loud exhausts, bright headlights that are not meant for road use and so on. I have a challenge for people who do this-why not sneak behind a policeman and blow the horn? Let's see what happens! Modifications like these distract other people, which may lead to severe or sometimes even life threatening accidents.