Skip to main content

Beyond Fines: One for the Road Safety

My first report card
Today I violated a traffic rule by talking on the phone while on the road. And the vigilant traffic police on duty caught me red-handed. I knew it coming. This is my first offense since I obtained the legal documents that allow me to sit behind the wheel.

The man in uniform took my bluebook and my driving license. I requested the policeman and said that it was my fault for using the phone while driving and I repetitively promised I would not repeat again. The man did not hear me. He was busy scribbling down my offense and instead handed me a yellow slip. And knowing that I would be wasting my energy pleading him I drove home with my first driving report card.

But it was a good experience getting caught and having to pay for the blunder. “Expect the unexpected” reads a signboard a few meters away from where I got caught. And getting caught unexpectedly made me reflect on some pertinent issues.

As drivers, we must not bear any grudge against those men in uniform for they are simply carrying out their duty just like us in our own fields. I certainly have no ill feelings against the traffic police, who caught me today. Instead he earned my respect today! We must understand things can go wrong at times. Yes, expect the unexpected! Unpleasant incidents, unfortunate at that, happen all the time. We hear a series of unfortunate road accidents and yet we think these unpleasant incidents are not meant for us. Experts also have us believe that these accidents could have been averted if people involved in them were more careful. Most accidents are manifestations of human errors and seldom mechanic failures. Human life is precious, we say all the time. We must take appropriate safety measures to protect it until it lasts. That’s why we traffic police to remind us!

However, of late I was told that these men in uniform are on fine-collecting spree! Yes, this means no amount of excuse or request would help. If we were at fault the traffic police would simply demand our “documents” and hand us the receipts. This means no excuse! I don’t know how far it is true – some senior officials are said to admonish traffic policemen if the fines they collect during the day is not substantial. What does it show? It seems to us that the authorities are concerned more about the fines than the road or the passengers’ safety.

As human beings we make mistakes and I think that’s expected. But when we talk of driving I think we must look beyond fines for collecting fines is not only the solution.

Is collecting fines same as generating revenues? I don't know. I only know that collecting my documents now entails more than the actual fine I contribute to the government exchequer! 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Our throw-it-away culture

Like all grandparents, my late grandma would call food 'tsampa rimpoche' and any fuss made about it would invite everyone's sneer and scoldings. Food is always treated with respect and is never wasted. "If you waste food in any manner," she would admonish us. "One day food will discard you and you will go hungry." 
What remained from the previous meal would be turned either into porridge or sometimes leftover rice would be dried in the sun. The dried rice would then be fried into puffed rice and consumed with cups of suja. When there was so much food left, especially during big events, leftover rice or kharang would be mixed with a small amount of yeast and brewed into ara.  
The only thing that I can vividly recollect from my primary school days is how we would be hungry most of the time. Food we were served was hardly enough to tickle our throats. We would be sent home only once a week on Saturdays and that was our opportunity to replenish our popcorn s…

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro.
I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school!
The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that will lead to successful and fulfilling life.” That’s…

Bloggers are not journalists

To say bloggers are not journalists is to say oranges are not carrots. Bloggers are not journalists. That’s true. But can bloggers become journalists? Maybe. Can journalists be bloggers? Yes. In fact, it would be only proper and appropriate for journalists to blog their opinions as opposed to being 'politically' correct all the time. So why call oranges carrots when they are what they are?
Well, it is true – bloggers have no training in journalism. That’s why they are bloggers. And for the same reason they are  not journalists. No bloggers have ever claimed what they blog can qualify as ‘journalism’.  We all do what we love the most and give our best in whatever we are doing either reporting news or blogging. 

Journalists do it as careers. Bloggers do it (mostly) for hobby and out of passion. Most journalists also do it with great passion - that's true. The journalists get paid for doing their jobs while bloggers derive pleasure doing it. Journalists cover (report) stories eve…