Sunday, July 07, 2013

Hit and Run will continue in India

Last night, i saw an episode on TV(based on a real story) . A young man was hit by a motorbike and then, in a critically injured state, was hauled into the bushes next to the road because the inebriated riders wanted to avoid conviction.

All day, i thought about the heartlessness of it all. To hit someone in an inebriated state is bad enough. To physically throw them at a place where you know they wont be able to get medical attention, is pure murder.

Today, on the way home, someone ran to cross the road. It was a 5 lane road and i was in the 3rd lane. The person started running from the 5th lane. I had to apply emergency brakes. So did at least 2 other vehicles.

And then. I thought.

This is what would happen in a logical place had i accidently hit the person:
1. I take him to hospital.
2. While the patient is being administered medical aid, the police arrives.
3. IDs of both parties are checked and statements taken from both.
4. I was driving within the speed limit, with the seat belt on. He was running (not just jaywalking, running) to cross the road at a place where there was no pedestrian light, no zebra corssing. In short, no place or right to cross the road.

Here is what will happen in India:
1. I take him to hospital.
2. No matter what the condition of the patient, the hospital will not start treatment till the police arrive. Most likely, they will ask me to take the patient to a public hospital. Especially if he is not well to do.
3. The police arrive. Both IDs are checked. I am booked for rash driving, my vehicle is impounded and i spend the night in jail.

This is why Hit and Run will continue in India:
1. When planning roads and flyovers and fancy toll roads, pedestrian subways and crossings are not planned at all. Its as if pedestrians dont exist, much less their rights.

2. When traffic lights are installed, pedestrian lights should be installed too. They seldom are. Where they are installed, they are rarely used.

3. Two wheelers think that they dont have a vehicle. They have a stunt machine, and the road is not for transportation. It is a stadium for their racing championshiops. Bigger vehicles need to look out for a motobike appearing out of nowhere suddenly, then apply emergency brakes. If they happen to be rearended by the vehicle behind in the process, too bad. The other vehicles are life insurance providers anyway.

4. Bicycles and Cycle Rickshaws want to use the same roads, but with no intention of using also the same rules. There is no lane discipline for them, no one ways and no traffic lights. they go where they please, just because they can. When they get hit, the blame lies squarely on the other person. I have never understood this.

So, Hit and Run will continue in India. Not because people are heartless, but because our administrators plan badly, and we have poor citizens. Very, very bad citizens. And thats the scourge of India.


Z said...

I don't know about North India because I haven't visited there for some years, but when I was in South India, mainly Chennai, last year, it was noticeable how much the motor traffic had increased. Ambassadors had been replaced by modern cars, and bicycles by motorbikes. My Indian friends told me that the only reason there weren't more accidents was because the traffic jams meant the traffic moves slowly. But, although there are modern ways of travelling, people behave as they always did and break the sensible rules.

In this country, by the way, you would not take the injured person to hospital. You'd call the police and ambulance, medical help would be given on the spot if necessary and his condition checked - if he had a broken back or a fractured skull, putting him in a car and driving him could be fatal.

I Am I said...

People like gruesome, ghastly stories. They like a villain they can hate. And that is how the addiction starts. Overtime, they need one everyday. So they can say "Ohh, how horrible!!"

How do we know said...

Hi Z: thats so sensible. Yes. I wish more of us were aware of such basic first aid principles, and i didnt think of it either while writing the post.