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

A Vibrant Village

What is a vibrant village? What does it take to create one? Can a village vibrancy prevent and curb rural-urban migration?
A village is vibrant when it has happy and content people. A village is vibrant where content people help each other. A vibrant village is where everyone is involved in or concerned with building a strong community. Such a village is connected with a well-maintained road that provides farmers with access to the outside world. 
A vibrant village grows its food and has no need to import anything from outside. Such a village booms with economic activities and here farmers look beyond subsistence farming. That is not to inject greed; it is rather, to encourage hard-working people to work harder. These farmers have at their service useful and modern farming tools to ease their work on the farms. In a vibrant village, farmers have the right to harvest their crops without having to share them with wild animals. 
A vibrant village has adequate and modern day facilities. Ele…

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…

Seeing and experiencing REAL Bhutan

Yes, we have deep respects for those tourists, who visit places and observe real festivals with the natives and enjoy them to the fullest. Such foreigners will get more out of Bhutan and their visits. In my opinion, most tourists would like to see something like that and experience real Bhutan and not the one that’s artificially created for them. They would like to spend some time interacting with our farmers. 
Our people need to maintain clean rooms and cook hygienic food. Such skills can be provided to the people in the rural villages. If only that happens we see the benefit of tourism being shared with all. Because right now only those who own big restaurants in urban centers and those who own major tour companies are the ultimate beneficiaries. That way we will have rich people getting richer while the poor will remain more or less mere spectator of this ever happening tourism sector.  We need to think of new tourist destinations. For now, almost every tour company sells almost th…