Two young men – lucky to be alive !

Last night we were driving back from Nachi’s place to our house in Pallikaranai. As we had started around 6.15 pm the traffic was heavy and slow moving. We were opposite the Hilton hotel, near the Kathipara Junction for the traffic light to change to green and we saw a young man crossing the road on foot. Before we could blink, a bike rider came at a really high speed in the small corridor on the right of our car and missed hitting the young man on foot by a whisker. The young man on foot had jumped up on the small cement wall that separates the two sides of the road and the bike rider probably touched this guy’s backpack. We had our hearts in our mouths literally :(.

Why do people cross the road anywhere ? Life is precious and if its not, then find ways to make it meaningful and precious, don’t just die while crossing the road at the wrong place, its a silly way to die !! This behaviour is seen across India. In Gurgaon almost everyday some life is saved at the Huda City Centre “nightmarish” traffic signal. I was once asked by an American colleague of mine, as to where these people on the roads go to ? Is it that they are walking to work or going to eat food ? She was perplexed seeing so many people milling about on a busy road. Well I gave some answer but it did get me thinking – why do we have so many people on the roads of India ?

A variation of the incident that I mentioned above happened the day before too … we were just turning from the Ashok Pillar road and there was a mini traffic jam as one of the vehicles on the left lane had broken down. Krishnan was about to take a slight right curve and luckily he saw this zooming bike rider who was a food delivery  boy coming through. Krishnan stopped instantly, otherwise this young delivery boy would have crashed into our car certainly and I don’t even want to think about the outcome…. and no he didn’t have a helmet on :(.

The last time we were in Chennai in Dec-Jan, we would return late at night after attending some concert and find these bike racers doing stunts on busy roads. We heard that they were banned and many young men have lost their lives but the thrill of racing dangerously outweighs the risk in their mind. I love to race too but on a race track and I won’t miss taking all the safety precautions. Krishnan and I wear the seat belt even if we are backing the car out of our parking lot. Krishnan has never ridden his bike without a helmet. We have never ridden our cycles without a helmet. Death does come at its appointed hour, and you can live dangerously if your actions don’t affect others.

These bike racers on the busy roads of Chennai cause accidents besides dying themselves. Many people use scooters and bikes to ferry their family and are scared witless when they see these racers weaving in and out and braking suddenly.

The road belongs to all the drivers and if your driving puts other people’s lives at risk, you should be taken off the road. Hope Mr. Gadkari comes up with serious penalties for speaking on the phone while driving, dangerous driving, racing on busy roads and most importantly underage driving. Its not fashionable to let your 10 year old drive the scooter or car – parents who allow this must be put behind bars!. Yeah, I heard the chuckle…. we aren’t able to put a movie star who allegedly drove over people sleeping on the pavement behind bars, how can we do that to these parents… well, start with the star’s dad who keeps apologising for his son’s indiscretions. Put him in jail. Ok, thats digressing.

Please drive safely and be a responsible citizen of this country. If you want to race, go to a race track and race to your heart’s content. … And thank GOD/nature/luck for these two boys who missed being in an accident by a whisker.

#NitinGadkari #Penaltiesfordangerousdriving

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