Lessons to be learnt
H. Kishie Singh
lost our son because
he was sending messages on the mobile phone while driving. He
had everything going for him. Just 23, an Army officer, a
father, he let something as silly as this take his life. I have
made it a point in my life to speak to everyone on these dangers
so that another family will not have to go through the pain and
suffering we go through everyday."
This is a
plaintive and anguished message a mother posted on the Net. So,
this is a lesson to be learnt. No cell-phone while driving. The
messages or missed calls will be there to attend to later.
Things happen very fast while driving, and the cost of a human
life is worth more than a phone call. You will be safer, as will
be other road users. Research shows that messaging while driving
is 27 times more dangerous than drunk driving.
Talking on the cell-phone while driving is an invitation
another theory doing the rounds. Excessive use of cell-phones,
50 minutes a day, plastered to your ear is enough to change
brain cell activity. Researchers believe that a radio-frequency
signal from cell-phones does have the potential to alter brain
activity since the antenna, in the upper part of the cell-phone,
is pressed against the ear, close to the brain. The positive
side is that the change could be for the better!
The other day,
while entering the parking lot, there was a queue. The person
behind me kept blowing his horn. Except being a noisy nuisance,
he did not accomplish anything. The reason for the delay was
that the driver about three cars ahead had given the parking lot
attendant a Rs.100 note to pay Rs 5, and this the first thing in
the morning! Please, people, get organised. Cars today come
abounding with cubby holes and cup holders. Why not keep some
loose charge handy for parking purposes? It will save a lot of
time for a lot of people and you will not make a nuisance of
observation at parking lots. The attendant hands out the ticket
to the driver, who puts the ticket in his mouth as he finds a
parking place. Yukh! The personal hygienic habits of the
attendant are highly suspect. Even if he had washed his hands
with soap and water in the morning, high unlikely, he licks his
fingers to moisten them with spit to help separate the tickets
as he hands one ticket to you. This is what you put into your
mouth. You can look forward to diarrhoea, dysentery, vomiting
and, possibly, food poisoning, depending on what the attendant
ate. As Suresh Kalmadi's aide Lalit Bhanot said: "Indians
have very different sanitary habits!" He was right.
The last Diwali
was the noisiest we have had for years. It was not the sound of
crackers but the noise of car horns that contributed to the din
the city was subjected to. Diwali means shoppers are out in
hordes; pedestrians and cars choke the streets. Traffic jams and
snarls are common place. Cars crawl. And everyone has his finger
on the horn button. It won't help a bit.
Here is what
the journal of the American Medical Association has to say about
people who are trigger happy with the horn button: "It
attempts to tease out the unhealthy effects of psycho-social
factors and it is apparently the first to pinpoint impatience as
an independent risk factor for high blood pressure."
Here is another
common sense No-No! The area around a hospital is a silence
zone. No horn. Never mind the area around the hospital. People
in the hospital parking lot use their horns indiscriminately. It
is shameful that people have no regard for the sick. The reason
for a silence zone is simple. Unnecessary noise increases
tension and stress levels and decrease productivity.
Whether driving or parking, there are lines painted on the
tarmac. You are supposed to keep within the lines and not on
them. That is straddling. It is common to see a Maruti 800,
which is about the size of a bathtub, parked squarely on a
painted line, taking up the parking space of two cars. Two badly
parked cars take up enough space where four or five cars can be
parked. So don't complain about lack of parking space. Concern
yourself about parking correctly.
It is also
extremely poor etiquette to park behind a parked car and block
his exit. Observing good manners while behind the steering wheel
goes a long way in improving traffic conditions. Actually all
traffic problems, to a large extent, are the result of bad road
manners must be taught to youngsters.