Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been taking multiple initiatives including those related to vehicular and road engineering as well as educational measures for raising awareness in the field of Road Safety.
Children in cars need to be restrained in seats that are tailormade for their height and weight and age. This is because the belt should fall correctly across the shoulder and chest and not cover the neck or face. (Data source: thecarseatlady.com)
Just like adults are protected from injury and death by seat belts in cars, children too need to be to protected by child restraint systems. Holding a child on the lap does not provide safety!
Traveling late in the night is risky, with two wheeler it is more dangerous. I realised this recently when I was returning home late in the night. Seeing there was no one on the road I was travelling at 60 kmph in my two wheeler, Suddenly an auto coming in the opposite direction took a sharp turn without any indication. I braked hard and barely avoided hitting the auto. If I had been a bit late to apply brakes, I would have crashed into the auto and suffered severely. I have decided not to speed even if the road is empty and be even more vigilant for possible road rule errors committed by others.
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Chennai has a lot of subways under railway tracks. Invariably most subways have puddles of water from sewage pipes or rain. These places are particularly risky for two wheelers. A few years back while I was going to meet my friend at Tambaram, I fell from the two wheeler due to slippery roads. Care should be taken to ensure there is no water stagnation in subways and that water drains away quickly.
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This is an incident from when I was a child, but the memory is so horrific that I still remember the details. On that day, my father was in a hurry to drop me and my brother off at school. A traffic light near my school in Alwarpet was not working that day. We were travelling straight when a Maruti 800, that was probably speeding, suddenly appeared from our left. Everything happened in the fraction of a second. The Maruti hit us, and all 3 of us fell down. My knees hit the road. I looked up and saw my brother getting up a little distance away. My father, who had a deep cut on his wrist, came to help me stand up, asking me if I was injured. Though my brother and I escaped with minor scratches, the memory of that accident is one I’ll never forget. The difference between a small accident and a large one is only how lucky you are that day! It seems we were lucky to escape like we did, but we know that road accidents exactly like this have caused serious injuries in other road users. Please be careful. Obey traffic rules and ride cautiously.
I travel home on a two wheeler during weekends from Puducherry to Karaikal to be with my family. However on one such trip in December 2019 I met with a road crash. Travelling at around 60 kmph, a dog suddenly crossed the road. I applied my brakes to avoid hitting the dog, but it was scary when the two wheeler skidded and I fell from the bike. I lost consciousness and I was saved by some Good Samaritans who took me to the hospital. My collar bone was broken and I escaped a head injury only because of my helmet. While we all know in theory that helmets save lives, I have seen this come true in my life.
I live pretty close to a major school in Anna Nagar. In pre Covid-19 days, when schools were still up and running, young boys of that school, from 9th std to 12 std, used to ride around on expensive bikes like the Duke R15. Being young, their ability to understand risks and moderate their behavior, is also poor. They speed around, scaring other hapless road users.
Parents who get these bikes for their children must be held responsible. It would be rare to find a kid on a bike who is also wearing helmets. There have been a few fatal road crashes involving children riding bikes. We need to raise awareness among parents that there is a reason why licences are not given to such young riders. Their ability to analyse risk, ride safely and respond quickly is not fully matured yet. Why would you do this to your child?