A discipline might be a sour pill for a school going kid, but how about the so-called adults? There are certain situations where it can’t be overlooked. The most important discipline is the one on road. This not only includes the travellers through vehicles, it also constitutes the pedestrians. I had cited my experience on this topic in one my previous post, “Taking on Death”. We would have heard people of different states in India boasting about the worsening of road discipline at their home towns. These are not going to serve any better for the condition. This is an attempt to compare the situations with the so-called super-power, United Sates.
The proper steps taken towards discipline are, neatly laid roads based on the population, importance of the locality i.e. highway or freeway, dividing the roads as lanes, maintenance of roads, separate pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. Strict and mandatory rules for travel, like the use seat belts, children seats, and lane discipline are being imposed. Here speed signs are posted along the road at certain distance, driving higher than the posted speed limit is a felony. We do not even have speed signs posted in our roads. The speed on the highway is much higher in comparison with our country; this is made possible with neatly laid roads and lane discipline. Though the speed of travel is greater, proper adherence to the rules will help us reach our destination on time without any hassle. The speed limits are a minimum of 65 MPH, and it has to be followed on the highway. Travelling at a lower speed is illegal. Cops are assigned at various places and check the speed of vehicles with speed guns using laser to detect the speed. If we over speed, the cop will charge us immediately, and trying to flee the cops is a felony and the punishment might go till imprisonment. Along the roads, sign boards have been posted to warn, inform or to regulate the traffic. Highest priority is given in the order of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists. Sharing the road with others is insisted and mutual respect for the co-travellers is given. These remind me of the incidents in India, people in a car would look down at the pedestrians and motorists. The elderly are given great respect while crossing the road here, the vehicles should stop well before the crossway and wait till they pass completely and they must not be disturbed by horns, while in India; they would be mocked at by the motorists and swing away close by them. A rule is laid said that it is against law to pass by an accident scene without offering help and this might lead to the revocation of license. Another amazing aspect is the importance for the physically challenged. Separate parking slots will be assigned to them near the entrance of the shop or mall, and others who try to misuse this would be heavily fined. Most of the parking lots, signals, crossways will be monitored with surveillance cameras and so nobody can escape the eyes of the Law. The cops cannot be bribed here, whereas in India, cop will forgive you if you bribe him for your mistake. I experienced this recently, I was in the bike with my hubby and we reached the main road before realizing it was a one-way. The traffic police stopped us and asked for explanation, we explained the case as a matter of urgency. When we asked for forgiving, he asked us what can be done, and asked us fine of 50 bucks. We gave him; he pretended to the public as if he was fining us legally, but slid the money into his pocket and left us. When is this going to close? Even the petty one of maintaining a standard distance between two vehicles is being followed. These laws here does not ensure washout of accident cases, but it will remarkably reduce the risk of an accident. There are certain exception here too who don’t care to follow “strict rules” but they are sure to be fined. In our country, laws have been laid by the government such as,
* Wearing a helmet in 2003-04
* Wearing a seat belt in 2005-06
* Plying of heavy vehicles within city limits during the day was banned in 2005.
* Lane discipline was enforced in 2007.
But only a few follow the rules. This is one of the few disciplines in life to be learnt from them.