After hitting a divider, the car veered to the left and then to the right and hit and killed a rickshaw-puller. Both the boys were under the legal age to drive and did not have valid drivers licenses. Parents appear and after a two-day drama over the death of the rickshaw puller, the duo was released on bail. Who was at fault, the parents or the kids?
A teenage girl on a two-wheeler was on the rush to the school / college, she approach main road crossing, without caring for the red signal she rush to the middle of the road, fast approaching bus runs over killing the kid in seconds. A mob appears from nowhere, breaks the bus; beats up the driver and then the police take over. Who is the end loser, the bus-owner, driver or the parents?
These are not one-off incidents. It’s occurring on a reasonable interval in major cities of our country. Can the loss lives be compensated by any amount of rioting, monetary compensation etc.? Who will understand it first and whom will they make realise that “Death is not in our hands; but to die or not to in these fashion” is definitely in our hands.
Actually children, now-a-days, begin driving at a very young age. They start with video games majority of which are based on automobile based themes. So, it is natural that the growing kids dream of owning high-speed vehicles and doing various stunts on the road. And many parents are seemingly happy with their kid’s expertise and they too turn admirers of the kids.
Next, one can find many parents offering the kids of latest two wheelers if they bring such and such percentage in their board exams knowingly well that the kid are neither educated enough to drive on roads nor are matured enough to handle such automobiles. Don’t the parents realize that this might turn fatal?
Now, these youngsters areound 16 years of age behave so brazenly and drive dangerously after getting hold of such vehicles that the city roads has become totally unsafe to drive. Jumping the signals, spiral driving on busy roads, abusing others on the road and picking fights is a very common sight of late.
Where do we end it?
It has to start at home with the parents, then to school / colleges supplemented by proper policing by law-enforcing agencies, NGOs and other social organisations.
So, parents please start thinking on this direction and then let us together initiate campaign to end this menace. After all, kids are just not the wealth of the parents; they are the future of the nation too…..
Madhu K Nair [February 2004]