Honolulu, the capital city of the largest city of USA, Hawaii has passed a law banning the use of mobile phones while crossing streets. The city becomes the first to introduce a law that would fine (between USD 15 and USD 99) a pedestrian crossing the street while texting. According to Reuters, between 2000 and 2011, over 11,000 crosswalk injuries were due to individuals using phones. The news of Honolulu introducing this ‘interesting’ law not to use phones while crossing streets, remind us of a different concept in India. Remember, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan’s famous tagline ‘Walk and Talk’ for the cellular brand, Idea. The ad targeted the consumers to remain healthy by not taking the calls while sitting at one place. The contradiction of ideas has made us further think about the basic traffic rules in India that are merely engraved in laws but not actually followed.
Honolulu Mayor, Kirk Caldwell said the law of going strict with pedestrians using phones while crossing street was needed because the city has the “unfortunate distinction” of having more people be slammed into by cars than almost any other city in the US. Critics are mulling over if educating people over responsible use of phones and in general the road safety rules would have been better. We hope before such or new laws are introduced in India, the countrymen start following the existing ones religiously. Here’s a look at five simple traffic rules and regulations that we Indian must start following now. What If…7 Types of People Were Banned From Indian Roads.
1. Pedestrian Crossing – Let Zebra Crossing Be Not Mere Signs
Zebra crossing signs usage has become a hypothetical situation. It only exists in textbooks of the primary school students where the teacher taught us about the road safety rules. It has become a daunting task for a pedestrian to cross the road despite the presence of proper rules that are needed to adhere to. According to the law related to a pedestrian crossing, it is the duty of the driver to slow down when approaching a pedestrian crossing (Rule 8). A driver cannot park his vehicle near a traffic light or on a pedestrian crossing or a footpath (Rule 15). Car owners are not allowed to drive on the footpaths or cycle lane except with permission from the police officer on duty (Rule 11).
2. Allowing Emergency Vehicles
Urban cities in India are jam-packed almost at every hour of the day. With a number of vehicles hitting the road every single day, the situation is only worsening. But the matter further becomes grim when emergency vehicles such as ambulances or fire service vehicles get stuck in the traffic. It is understandable that everyone is in a hurry to reach on time but will have to learn to allow free passage to the emergency vehicles because it can be a matter of life and death for the people in need. We should allow free passage and drivers of all other vehicles should move their vehicles to the side of the road to do so.
3. Use of Indicators While Changing Lanes
We all are guilty of not using indicators while moving from one lane to another. India does not have a culture of using indicators while changing lanes, leading to much uncomfortable and dangerous riding experience for the vehicles coming from behind. The motor vehicle owners must know the hand signals as well, which as a matter of fact very few people know and use them.
4. Stop Calling/Texting When Driving
This is no Einstein’s Law of Relativity. It is as simple as it reads – do not use mobile phones when behind wheels. It is common sense (which obviously is not very common these days) that texting and calling while driving is bound to make you distracted and vulnerable to accidents, which involves risking your and other persons’ lives.
5. Stop Honking and Road Rage
Commuting has become a difficult part of our daily lives, especially in the metro cities. The long duration spent on the road while being stuck in traffic can be incredibly frustrating. The matter only aggravates if the person driving starts honking at length for minutes and worst begins abusing left, right and centre. Road rage is commonly observed scenario in Indian cities, which has claimed innocent lives. Losing temper for one moment can lead a person to take a drastic step that can ruin their and others complete life.
India has the second largest road network in the world behind the US. Despite boasting such a high place, the administration and condition on the road are on a downslide. This video by USP Films YouTube channel pinpoints exactly the difference between driving on the US roads compared to Indian roads. The viewers in India may find it offensive and even inaccurate, calling conditions in the US to be too correct to be true. But the main purpose of the video is to highlight where we are falling short in India and many of you would agree to things such as lane cutting, not providing passage for pedestrians to walk on a zebra crossing, honking near silence zones like schools and hospitals. This video is mere to see, understand and correct ourselves rather be rigid and take offence.