Role models for road safety
Nami Luthra, an HR professional, recalls a horrid instance of road rage that she recently witnessed. “We were in the middle of a massive traffic jam, when a car brushed against my cab, causing some damage. My driver started hurling abuses at the other driver, and suddenly, a group of men, with rods in their hands, appeared at the scene. They tried to drag my driver out of the car - they had already broken the window and injured his hand. I folded my hands and asked those men to stop, since my driver was already bleeding. Unfortunately, no one came to help us. Had I not used my presence of mind and supported my driver, I don’t know what would have happened,” she wonders.
Luthra holds road safety in the highest regard, and does all she can to help out fellow commuters on the road. There are others like her, but the number is still miniscule.
“I recently experienced something on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road. There was a motorcycle-borne rider who had met with an accident. Nobody had gone forward to help him—realizing that, I went to his rescue,” says Krishnendu Paul, a corporate professional. “It is important to do all we can when it comes to road safety, whether it’s being responsible ourselves or helping others,” he adds.
Through its ‘Be a Road Hero campaign’, Hero MotoCorp is encouraging what constitutes right road behaviour. In its second phase now, the campaign urges everyone to wear helmets and seat belts, help road accident victims, and follow traffic rules for 21 days. After all, that’s how long it takes to form a habit.
There are some who witness near-fatal accidents and learn from other’s mistakes. That’s exactly what happened with Ankit Anand, a media professional. “When I was 17, I once witnessed a speeding car hitting a senior citizen. The incident completely changed my perspective towards road safety —now, I always adhere to the permissible speed limits while driving and drive slower than usual when passing through a narrow road,” he says.
Some commuters treat road safety casually when they begin driving, but over time, they realise its importance. For someone who is an educationist, this becomes even more significant, since he/she teaches children the importance of road safety.
“Driving, for me, happened not by choice but as a need, and I basically learnt it myself. I follow the basic rules- stopping at signals, wearing seat belts and so on. Once, on my way to Noida from Gurgaon, I continued moving even when the yellow light was flashing at the signal. When a traffic policeman stopped me, I made some excuse about not being able to stop on time. He let me go saying he was doing that only because I was a teacher. The incident left me red-faced. Now, I never jump a signal. In terms of safety, it started as something enforced by my husband, but which is now a habit. We even make our son wear the seat belt on the rear seat,” says Reema Mithwani, an educationist.
According to the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India ranked at the top for the number of road accident deaths among 199 nations. Almost 11 per cent of accident-related deaths in the world are attributed to India.
Phase 1 of the ‘Be a Road Hero campaign’ saw immense success last year, with over 27,000 pledges taken. A Road Hero champions change and pledges to observe better road behaviour, and helps others make correct judgments on the road.
Take this quiz here and assess your road safety behaviour. #BeARoadHero