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Respect The Red

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Red, orange and green. How many of us adhere to all these colors while waiting in a traffic signal? Some of us only see green all the time, which clearly is a case of color blindness. In today's world, all of us are in a hurry and it always is a race against time. Survival of the fittest is now combined with a quest for time in such a way that the human race is turning a blind eye to the obvious. Safety. A report, based on statistics collected from 178 participating countries, said globally over 1.2 million people die in road accidents every year and 20-25 million people suffer non-fatal injuries. And hardly any of it is an accident. Most of it is a risk taken by the deceased. Have you seen this video? Many people came up with their derogatory comments regarding it in such a way that the soul of the message was lost in the background. Aamir Khan dedicated an entire episode in his show to show us the causes for road accidents and how it can be prevented. But the minute the episode was over, we were back to manipulating the rules and signals the way we wanted to. I know it is a thrill to break the rules. The thrill is for you. If it goes wrong, then it is a punishment for the people around you.

I lost a young cousin to a road accident five years ago. He was nineteen. As much as it was a sad incident, the only person to blame was him. He was on a highway speeding on his bike, without a helmet when a car hit him from an intersecting road. The person driving the car was within the speed limit and was moving towards his destination when my cousin lost control of his bike and rammed into this car. The petrol tank of the bike penetrated his abdomen and he only survived for a few hours after that. Thankfully he could say a word to his parents before he shut his eye forever. His parents grieve till date. An accident is like cancer. It affects the people around more than the victim. All my cousin had to do that day was to ride in the approved speed limit and wear a helmet. But no, he wanted to get his share of thrill and now his parents are left wondering what went wrong in their upbringing.

I have broken the rules so many times too. My husband and I once broke a signal and rammed into a TVS luna which was carrying a lot of packed eatables to be sold elsewhere. Thankfully nothing happened to both of us or the man riding the luna, but half of his commodities now lay in the middle of the road all soiled and not fit for sale. A part of our bike was broken too. We felt so sorry for the man and we paid him the cost of all his products. No, we did not break the signal for an adrenaline rush, we just were lazy to wait in the signal. It feels so stupid now. But I'm glad it happened, we learnt out lesson that day. We learned to respect the red and stop, when we are asked to stop. This can not only save our life but that of others too. Two minutes of your rush, can take away quite a few lives.

Responsibility on the road is not just towards one's own self but also to the other motorists and pedestrians. There are times when no matter how carefully one drives, some other reckless driver comes in between to cause an accident. The concept of safety would work only if everyone adheres to it. It is an individual responsibility and people should feel responsible for every action they take on the road. In the race against time people are forgetting about the importance of human life. Leave early, instead of rushing or breaking a signal. Another main cause for road accidents is drinking and driving. If you have the money to blow in drinks, then I think you should also have the money to book a cab to take you home instead of driving. How hard is it to understand? You get a kick out of the alcohol, but would you want an accident to kick your bucket as well?

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I'm no expert here, but I think the below steps shall definitely help prevent accidents and help road safety.

~ Helmets should be made mandatory in every city. Not only for the rider, but also for the pillion. 

~ Seat belts should be a mandate for both the front and the backseats of the car. No excuses.

~ Traffic signals should be monitored. A barricade should be put across the road when the signal is red and should be lifted only when the signal turns green.

~ Traffic cops should be more stringent and should not accept bribes while filing a case against an offender.

~ The rules for procuring a drivers license should be made more strict and a full test should be done before providing the license. I know of people who pay large amounts of money to get the license delivered to their house without breaking a sweat or giving a driving test.

~ The government should take measures to fill the potholes in the roads. They might not accept the truth, but this leads to a lot of accidents as well.

~ Cops must be deployed at every pub/bar to check if the person is capable of riding/driving. If not, they should be withheld until they book a cab and leave. Pubs/bars must have their own security to check this.

~ If found drunk while driving/riding, a huge fine should be imposed and the vehicle should be withheld for atleast a month. Plus jail time. Atleast for a day.

~ Instead of spending thousands on performing pujas for your new vehicles and hanging lucky charms on them, buy a rule book and follow the rules. Obey the law and you would not need a prayer.

~ Cops should be deployed at one way roads, to make sure that no one comes in from the opposite side. If caught, a severe fine should be imposed and the vehicle should be withheld. Plus jail time. Atleast for a day.

~ Before jumping a signal or deciding to ignore the seat belt, think about your families and how much they love you. You do not want to leave them alone.

~ Do not try to act macho to impress your girlfriend or a young child. Remember, even a super hero needs a seat belt.

~ Do not overcrowd a bike or a car. Every vehicle has its own limitations.

~ Maintain the safety distance at all times. Horn Ok Please, actually means something.

~ While investing heavily on cars and bikes, do not compromise on the security features. Make sure security is the first check you make, while purchasing a vehicle.

~ Follow the traffic rules like it is a mantra to live. Remember red means to stop and green means to go. Orange means the signal will turn red soon, so slow down and plan your movement accordingly.

~ Even if a celebrity is caught, he/she should pay the price and do the jail time. No bail, no excuse.

~ A traffic cop should be deployed on every busy street to help people cross the roads. Be it a main road or a highway. We have enough police force in this country to do this. If not, more people should be deployed.

~ Respect and obey the policemen. They are doing their duty.

~ And finally, dream big. And drive/ride safe so that you can achieve your dream one day.

This post has been written for The Nissan Safety Driving Forum in association with Indiblogger.

The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion activities. The program began as an annual activity in 2012. In its initial phase it covered three main Indian cities, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai; and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India. Under its Blue Citizenship CSR umbrella, NSDF by Nissan works to build awareness of safe driving in India. NSDF encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts, and participants learn through interactive activities the importance of wearing seatbelts. Nissan seeks to support reducing fatalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents, and NSDF represents the company's commitment in contributing to young, vibrant and mobile India.

You can read more about it here.


  1. While many suggestions sound good, others seem like a part of a distant dream.

    I think it's safe to assume majority of reckless drivers are in their late teens or twenties. Imposing rules and controlling traffic will only do half the job. The other half has to come from within.

    Good Post :)

    1. It has to come from within indeed.

      Thank you! :)

  2. I don't know how much people will follow but then you never know that. People here wear helmets to avoid challaans instead of their own safety. Not much can be expected from such people.

    But good mentions there. Instead of what I said above, I hope people follow and be safe. Their lives are connected with so many others. At least they should think about them.

    All the best for the contest :) Oh and I loved the title (y)

  3. I will try and follow as many of these rules as I can.
    Even though we know these, when on road, driving on instinct n impulse almost always takes over reasonable and safe driving.
    Thanks for the reminder,
    good luck for the contest.

    1. I'm glad you will Monica!

      Thank you, I won the contest :)

  4. The picture on the lane discipline says so much. Well written. Congrts for the win.

  5. Even if we obey the law, we still need prayers :-)

    This is a good compilation. Basic things like respecting the traffic signals is doable immediately, others have to be enforced in due time.

    1. We need prayers always, but not that alone :)

      Thanks Anita!

  6. Nice post, Soumya! Congrats for winning :)

  7. effective post...hope to meet u in NSDF, kochi.

  8. Congratulations for winning....good to see ur honesty and responsibility. Also sensibly you understand that an accident doesn't affect the victim alone but many others...

  9. You stole my words Leo! So many people piss me off when I drive to work. After my fair share of lessons and witnessing many accidents on the road, I am a person who follows traffic rules to the letter. But sadly, there are just one too many people on the roads who make you want to give up driving altogether.

    Well written post to all those who take safety for granted. Speed might thrill many but it also kills that much. When will this common sense reach the masses? Only God knows!

    1. Its gonna be very difficult though for people to understand the basics!

  10. Well deserved win! Congratulations, Soumya!

  11. Hahahaha... I like the first image :-P
    It's so true :D

  12. Congratulations on winning this one sweetheart!!

    I believe in only one thing - those who are careless on the road love no one. Otherwise why would they risk their lives so much. Wish people were more sensitive and realized that rules were good only for them and their families.


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