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Community Service for Traffic Rule Violators
Even though traffic police personnel impose fines on those violating traffic rules, it must be said that the said rules are being violated with impunity by the road users. It appears that the fines do not serve as a deterrence to arrest the violation of rules. Hence a much stricter punishment seems to be the need of the hour. In foreign countries, there is the concept of ‘community service’ that is being imposed on violators of the general rules. Such a concept of ‘community service’ has, however, not caught up in our country. Besides imposing a stiff penalty for violation of the traffic rules, the violators should be asked to do ‘community service’ by making them play the role of a traffic warden for a predetermined number of days, depending on the severity of the traffic violation. This will go a long way in reducing the number of violators of traffic rules on our roads.
Road Discipline: India Has a Long Way To Go
This is with reference to the letter written by S N D Poojary titled ‘Maintaining Discipline on Indian Roads’ (NT August 27). Poojary forgets that this is India and all his suggestions and advices may fall on deaf ears. Look at the Dona Paula-Miramar road and the junction at the NIO circle. The road has been completely damaged because of the repeated digging work undertaken without proper plans. However, now the Goa State Industrial Development Corporation (GSIDC) is slowly getting organised. In the monsoon, these roads are badly affected and become slippery causing many accidents. We cannot compare our roads with that abroad. Also, there is a vast difference in the attitude of the people there and our own countrymen. Traffic laws are also strictly implemented in some countries unlike in India. It will take a lot of time for us to reach their level. I remember when I was in Norway and other European countries in 1981, I had asked myself once as to when India would reach that level. Now we are in 2014, but still there seems to be no improvement.
On Irresponsible Driving Schools
A driving school is meant to get you ready to take to the road in a four-wheeler in every respect, i.e. knowledge of the car, the ability to drive it, park it, reverse it, start on a slope, teach you the rules of the road, etc, and finally get you a driving licence. However, the driving schools today have just one aim, i.e. to land you that licence and make a quick buck in the process. The 25 classes of half-an-hour duration are mainly spent in dropping off the last student and picking up the next from their respective residences. In between, you are taught to point the car straight and drive, always with the assistance of the instructor on the parallel set of controls. On checking out my daughter’s driving prowess on the eve of her driving test, I was left aghast. Here was a person ready to be let loose on the roads as a licensed driver and she did not know how to drive. She had no clue how to reverse park a car, or even reverse it correctly for that matter. Starting on a slope was even more frightening. Finally even the straight driving was on the same gear. Nevertheless, the following day, she passed the driving test like a breeze and was thrilled to have landed herself a pucca driving licence. When I brought up the subject of my daughter’s driving ability with the driving school, they promptly suggested a refresher course on further payment. There apparently is connivance between the RTO and the driving schools to pass all their students, irrespective of their skills.
M PINTO, Porvorim

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