Monday, January 6, 2014

If Only We Followed Rules

I know that no one will blink an eyelid if I say that I was stuck in traffic. It has become an integral part of our daily routine. One cannot even imagine of a route where hundreds of vehicles are stranded and moving in a snail's pace. Few days back, while going home from work, I was stuck in the traffic for almost an hour. A vehicle which belongs to another era had broken down in the middle of the road. Everything was in complete chaos. The road from was jam packed with vehicles. Everyone seemed to be doing what they wanted. Buses, trucks, micro vans, small cars, big cars, motorcycles and even tractors from both the sides were proudly and openly violating the lane discipline.
This had resulted in an impossible situation. Few traffic cops were having a tough time to steer away the vehicles. Everyone suffered. Later, some friends revealed that I was lucky to be there for a "mere 45 minutes." Some, as they said, were stuck for more than 2 hours.
If only the drivers would stick to their lanes and wait for a few seconds, traffic problem would be solved to a great extent.  But, we seem to be in such a hurry that we do not even care for ambulances. Public transportations in our country enjoy a facility which would not be available anywhere else in the world. They are free to stop anywhere, anytime caring a penny about the consequences of their action. All they have to notice a passenger (even a potential one) and they hit the brake pedal to stop at the middle of the road, just at the nook, or even a steep road. Equally responsible are the passengers who raise their hand like Hitler to stop a vehicle, run across the road like Usain Bolt and climb in. Such passengers bang on the wall or roof of vehicle and shout at the driver if he does not stop where they have to get down. Walking a couple of feet to board or disembark is regarded as a huge humiliation.
It makes me think why we can't follow the rules? Traffic rules should be strictly followed and I think the penalty for violating rules should be more severe. As such the roads are getting more and more congested and the icing in the cake is the mentality of drivers. Even the mentality of those driving private cars is equally pathetic. Those who drive vehicles worth millions of rupees do not have civic sense worth even a two penny. Have you ever realized that the condition at Koteshwor is no different even after the road has been expanded thrice wider?
One such taxi driver coming in totally wrong side, upon being questioned had told me, "This is Nepal. You can drive however you like sir." Another crazy example is of a motorcyclist, again coming totally on my lane from opposite direction. I was stopped on my proper side. He was coming in a wrong lane and hit me. Before I could say anything he clenched his fists at me and cursed. If I am even an average lip reader, I could make out he was abusing me with a word which I cannot mention here.

I have asked the question to myself several times,
"Why the hell can't we follow any rules?"

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