After an early dinner at an Indian restaurant, myself and my boss decided to walk down the street to the hotel in Basel (Switzerland). We just were walking on the pavement while talking about wide range of topics except work! One of the topics immersed us so much in the discussion that we almost forgot we were walking. By the time we came back to our senses when we realised there was a car behind us running very slowly.
We realised our mistake, apologised to the driver and gave him way. The car just zoomed past us in the next moment leaving us on the pavement. That was an uncommon experience for an Indian. The car was quietly following us without even blinking the headlights or honking. Had been the case back home, we must have been cursed by the driver or subjected to incessant honking or even there was a chance of getting run over.
After this experience, we thought of understanding the reason behind such discipline in people. There were variety of feedback we received. Some people said it is because of the strict laws those are in place which act as strong deterrent to potential offenders. Few people were of the opinion that the discipline was due to the civic sense imparted through education from an early age. However strict regulations and education about civic sense; both are necessary for infusing the discipline in people.
Our laws pertaining to traffic offences (most of them due to “road rage”) are very primitive. There is a drastic change that is required in the existing traffic laws. More accountability needs to be laid with the keepers of the law. Implementation can’t be done without participation of every citizen. Every one of us must respect law of the land.
Similarly educating children to abide by traffic rules, refrain from littering on the roads will lead to more civic sense in their minds. During our school days, there were provisions for students from schools & colleges to assist the local traffic policemen in managing the traffic. Such exercises are very useful for children to have first hand experience and make them more responsible by the time they become adults.
A little bit of restraint while on the move can save precious lives and can give sense of satisfaction of being a responsible citizen. We can make small commitments to ourselves like we would not honk unnecessarily or we would give priority to pedestrians and then try to fulfil them. Let’s make our roads safe for us as well as other fellow citizens out there. Let’s drive sensibly and let’s drive un-crazy.