Posted on Trivia – The Spice of Life on 22/05/2022
Riding two wheelers, by and large, is considered infra dig vis-à-vis riding four wheelers. Owning a four wheeler is a sign of upward social mobility. The bigger your car, the more prosperous you are, at least in India. But given the bumper to bumper traffic on the roads in all major cities of India through out the day, the peak hour traffic concept, I believe, is passé. As vehicles are stuck in endless traffic jams, one notices that it is the two wheeler drivers who can negotiate the traffic better. They are the ones who have a field day. The aspect I intend to explore is one that highlights the notoriety of the two wheeler riders. This is one offence that the four wheeler drivers cannot commit even if they fervently wish to, as their sheer size becomes an impediment.
The ingenious two wheeler drivers – most of whom are youngsters – squeeze through the spaces left between vehicles to to get to the top of the line of traffic halted at a traffic signal, so that the moment it turns green, they can zoom ahead. One is reminded of how water finds a way of percolating even when there is a layer of rocks. The serpentine trajectory taken by the two wheeler riders – the food delivery agents in particular – could give a snake a run for its money. The undesirable but expected result of such tomfoolery is that two-wheelers are 30 times more prone to accidents than cars and riders suffer a high rate of death and disability.
The two wheeler drivers are great at improvising. They are visionaries with a very broad perspective; they view pavements as a part and parcel of roads. I have personally witnessed two wheelers being driven on pavements, which are rightfully meant for pedestrians. Such is the tearing hurry of the drivers of the two wheelers that they have no compunction while encroaching upon the pavements to reach the traffic signal pole. What is dangerous about this proposition is that the pedestrian who feels that the pavement is legally and exclusively his space is not prepared for vehicles plying on it. This unsettles the pedestrian completely, with the busy road too being off bounds. This is a perfect recipe for disaster. Yet, this is a practice that continues daily. Unfortunately, the traffic policeman manning the signal is so caught up in regulating the busy junctions that it is humanly impossible for him to spot such brazen transgressors.
As far as I can gather, there is no separate provision to fine those driving on the footpath. They are charged under section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act and fines are charged as prescribed in the Act. One can only hope and pray to the almighty that good sense prevails on the two wheeler riders so that they are able to visualize where the road ends and the pavement begins.