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As a driver I have the relevant licence to drive light vehicles and motorcycles. I went through the hard way facing the written test and the practical test to get my licence. To get motorcycle licence I had to repeat my practical for I did not fare well in the test to ride forming an eight.

As a rider of the motorcycle I have the responsibility of the very life of the pillion rider. If I am an auto (three wheeler) driver I have 3 people or more under my care.I am bound to transport them in safety. Similarly in a car it is 4 or 5 or even 1 or 2 more. In a bus of course the number of human lives in my care is 40 or more passengers in the vehicle at that point of time.

Can I drive recklessly that too under the influence of liquor or to impress somebody in the vehicle or enjoying a chat over the mobile phone or even answering an urgent call. There is a tendency for any driver to be carried away by his/her occupying the driving seat,has the horse power at his foot(accelerator)and directive power in hand (steering wheel). In certain localities it is said that you should have the foot on the brakes and your mouthful of Billingsgate (fish market)expletives. That feeling of importance or power shrouds his responsibility to transport his wards.The passengers like hapless children or even orphans,who are at the mercy of the one at the wheel. In such a situation,it is important that his entire attention should be focussed on the driving and driving alone for the transport of those entrusted to him in safety as a whole and not in pieces.

Is this happening? The bottom line is the obtaining of the licence to drive by devious and dubious methods while   being not competent or not sufficiently proficient in driving. That licence should be obtainable only after obtaining and for the skill in driving, not for any other consideration.

As we drive we pass or overtake many on foot, many comrade at arms or his wards as in our case as passengers.A small careless or even an ignorant move can cause wound,or maim or even cause death to others ranging from one to many.

It is very important that drunken driving should not be permitted to touch any wheel on apprehension as well as permanently thereafter.This move can remove potential killers from the highways and byways by a few percentages at least.To ensure whether the drivers have been licenced properly, a few random checks will expose sooner than later if the random check about their announced professional skill is done by competent and incorruptible with the necessary skill to find the true position.When drug addict succumbs it is suicide.When an accident victim dies it is more homicidal than accidental, if the driver is found to be responsible for the death. What is important is not the driver but who are in his vehicle or those whom he passes or overtakes in his routine drives.

If we value human lives they must be protected and in this instance from speed maniacs, drunken drivers, unlicensed drivers, those who have the licence but cannot drive properly as any competent driver is expected to. Those especially in heavy vehicles with their raised thrones to drive from should not be considering themselves as “monarch all they survey” and look down upon others as lesser mortals dispensable at their disposal.
There are speed limits indicated yet the “thrill” is to drive a few (K)MPHs above that speed limit indicated and those around to sing “nearer my God” than the destination intended.

Not only the police,various other organs of state contribute to the creation of such killers behind the wheels. Unless there is public awareness and constant vigil and care by the relevant authorities, drivers themselves and public that ultimately suffers,we have  to face many an untimely death,crippling or decapacitating on a continuous scale.

Knee-jerk reaction and back to slumber is no permanent solution. Eternal vigilance is the Prize(price) of liberty.

R.Suntharalingam
Urumpirai  

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