More than putting the vehicle into motion Needed : Traffic sense

Kick the engine into life or switch the engine into life with the turn of the ignition key, kick or pull the clutch, slowly release the clutch and put the vehicle into motion and presto one is driving. Unfortunate it is but to many of those who are behind the wheels zooming around the roads of Imphal, the understanding of driving does not extend beyond the opening lines of this commentary. Welcome to Imphal city where driving means just accelerating, applying the brake when needed and yes blow one’s horn away to glory, never mind the fact that the vehicle in front just does not have the space to give way to the vehicle coming behind. Put the VVIPs into the frame of the traffic as understood here and it is more than enough to shoot anyone’s blood pressure shooting up. Plus there are others too as well. Not uncommon to see young men and women yakking away on the mobile phone while driving and clearly here is a classic example of how man can do two things at the same time with such dexterity and agility that it would leave anyone breathless. The only hitch is, the breathlessness will come more from exasperation at the senselessness of it all than anything to do with awe at something splendid put on show. Park anywhere one likes, especially when the traffic cops are looking the other way and expect others to back up or stop when the wrongly parked vehicle decides to put the reverse gear into motion and back up, never mind if there are vehicles coming in hordes on the roads. The great circus on the streets and roads of Imphal is complete and the script writer is none other than those who have taken the wheel under the assumption that one knows how to drive. Driving is something much more than just putting the vehicle into motion and it is the senseless driving which includes lane jumping (many may not understand what this actually means), driving and yakking away on the mobile, taking a turn suddenly without any signal and yes parking anywhere where one likes. Take a look at any traffic intersection and the point that is sought to be made here will become clearer. Red means stop. It doesn’t mean taking advantage of the other vehicles which have come to a halt to slowly inch one’s way up, thereby blocking the free flow of vehicles coming from the other side. Here again it is not uncommon to see vehicle which has stopped at the left side suddenly deciding to take the road on the right, thereby stopping the other vehicles from proceeding smoothly. This is about understanding one’s lane. If one has to go right after the green signal comes on, then where was the point to stop the vehicle on the far left and then stop the free flow of the other vehicles while crossing over to the right side of the road ?
Traffic sense, a little consideration for the other road users and the readiness to stick to rules and regulations. This is what Manipur or rather the drivers out on the roads of Imphal need desperately at the moment. In many ways the traffic chaos and traffic jam that one sees on the roads of Imphal have more to do with the utter lack of sense to give space to others than with the rapidly growing number of vehicles. No denying that the number of vehicles on the roads of Imphal has increased exponentially in the last many years, but with a more considerate people, a people considerate about fellow road users will go a long way in easing the flow of traffic. Roads can be expanded to a certain point and not more. Flyovers may be built but then how many flyovers can one expect the Government to build ? What is needed is a little more traffic sense and consideration for others too. The number of vehicles will keep increasing, thanks to the easy bank loans that are now on offer and the increasing buying power of the people. All good signs but when people do not know how to put to good use the increased spending power then it says something profound about the mentality of everyone and this is not at all flattering.