Creating nuisance on the roads Rein in reckless driving

It is an annual affair and this says something very disturbing. Come any festival and the Traffic Police have to come out with a series of drives to keep the people ‘sane’ when they are behind the wheels. As in the past this time too, the Traffic Police have already announced that a special traffic drive will be launched from March 2 to March 6 to put a check on road mishaps during the Yaoshang Festival. A sure indicator that many just do not know how to celebrate and this is a worrisome trend. Young kids wheezing around in their fancy two wheelers without a care for the other road users, over taking freely from the left, zooming around without a care for the others, over speeding, drunken driving, three riding on a two wheeler, riding without helmet, etc have all become part and parcel of Yaoshang Festival down the years and this is a worrying trend. Young people out to have a good time during the five days festival is perfectly okay, but when these young people do not know how to celebrate and become a nuisance to others, particularly to others who may be using the road, then it becomes important for the law enforcing agencies to pull up their socks and rein in all those who violate traffic norms blatantly. A look at the daily newspapers, which will hit the stand after a five day break, should be more than enough testimony that incidents of road accidents rise sharply during Yaoshang and the same is true in the case of the other festivals such as during Christmas and New Year. Being Yaoshang, it is understandable if the festivities stretch late into the night, courtesy Thabal Chongba, but there should be a line between celebrating and creating a nuisance in the neighbourhood.
The mentality has to change. If it is the youngsters who create havoc on their fancy two wheelers on the road and in fancy cars of their elders, then it is the same adults who create havoc on the roads of Imphal every day. A look at any of the major roads in Imphal will testify the point that is sought to be made here. No one gives a hoot to traffic norms and this is most evident at any of the traffic points. Zebra crossing for all practical purpose has come to mean a term which has come straight out of the zoo to majority of the motorists in Imphal. Such a mentality means that vehicular movement becomes slower as the refusal to understand the signal to stop means that all vehicles coming from one direction will keep on inching forward thereby impeding the free flow of vehicles from the other side. It is this mindset that needs a serious review. Stiffer penalty is what is called for. Perhaps the Government may seriously study the possibility of coming out with an Act that can land a traffic violator behind bars for five days. This will go some way in regulating traffic in Imphal. Such a tough law should also be applicable to all, read those who come under the VIP tag, if it is to have any meaning. In a few days from now, Yaoshang will be celebrated, but let all know the spirit and meaning of celebrating and not reduce the festival to some sort of a debauchery where drunkards behind the wheels can turn into killers. Abide by the traffic rules and regulations, is the bottomline.

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