Playing rugby on the fast lane?

  • SumoMe

My dad tells me of his days when his dad gave him Rs. 5 for catching public transport to his college and to return back. He told me he never spent the money on the conveyance and went walking. Part of the reason would have been that he would reach faster walking and get some exercise done. There was a day in 2002 when I drove from 32nd milestone to IGI airport which I luckily covered in an hour. Then today I drove on the expressway which if not better than expressways in the U.S. is at par with them.
The only difference in experience on the various occasions is that speeds have increased but driving attitudes and ethics still remain the same. I still see that if there are four lanes on the expressway then they are occupied by four lorries driving at almost the same speed trying to overtake each other. I still see massive white cabs trying to outpace time, changing lanes without regard to safety of those in their vehicle and those around. I still see people trying to walk across the road which cuts between the two malls even when an ambulance is trying to make its way through.
I agree on the fact that when need arises, rules are meant to be broken. But challenging common sense just because it conflicts personal interests is not a good idea just because if everyone starts doing so then there wouldn’t be much difference between playing rugby on your own and driving on the road. Both will become games where “my” ball reaches the finish line first even if I have to knock down anyone which comes in my way. Fortunately, rugby is a team game so they somehow end up getting “their” ball to the finish line. Driving, as far as I have seen is not a yet a team game that means every vehicle has its own ball to take to the finish line. This is where we (including myself) do not take our common sense far enough. Could driving be a team game? It could be and it could not be.
There is a good chance we could make driving on road like walking in Shangri-La (not the Hotel) and also end up getting the ball to the finish line just by following common sense and patience. It is clear that not all roads are well marked; therefore there is no definition of lane driving among some drivers (as in the case of lorries occupying all lanes at same speed). We often come across with quotes like “safety first” and “lane driving is safe driving”. Probably we need to make such one liners available in more languages than English. But all that apart there is a dire need to rectify our driving ethics soon, because if the trend continues then no road will be wide enough, no road will be safe enough.

Praful Chowdri

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