Driving sense

I have been sitting in the neuro surgery ward of the Goa Medical College hospital since the last two days hearing agonising screams.

From my limited understanding, the patients fall in two categories; those who have medical issue suffered as a consequence of nature and those caused by man.

Those who fall in the category caused by man constitute, in a large majority, bike accidents; some of no fault of theirs .

What ever be the reason the consequences are horrendous and I wish these words of mine strike terror in your heart.

There is no substitute to cautious riding. It is folly for both for the rider and the pillion not to wear a helmet. In three cases here, all three are pillion riders.

In their ruling a few years ago, the courts made it mandatory for all bikers to wear helmets yet they fell short of mandating the same for pillion riders who are more prone to fatal injuries.

What is bizarre is when riders choose to drink and drive, thinking that ‘they are in control’ or one drink(sic)‘can’t kill them’.

Even more bizarre is when stupidity takes over and bikers choose not to wear a helmet because they are ‘in control’. The fact that their mental ability is not ‘in control ‘to take an obvious choice is reflective of how little their physical faculties operate.

The law must change both in insisting that both riders and pillions wear helmets and that those caught violating laws such as drinking and driving GO TO JAIL with no exception. Licences must be suspended for a year and stricter fines must be imposed.

It has become more than evident that citizens of this country are prone to break traffic rules and the time has long passed for stricter penalties. The clock has long overtaken us.

If we must drive common sense into people’s minds, even with the harshest of laws, then so be it . For those who disagree you are welcome to any goverment hospital neurosurgical ward where if you still disagree, I will humbly rest my case .

Fr Warner Dsouza

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