There are millions of people in New Delhi who use their vehicles every day for either a commute to their workplace or for any business that they seem to have. Out of these many people, chances are that at least half of them will see an accident on their way. A quarter of them might themselves get close to having an accident, and the remaining would either be the victims or might be the perpetrator of such accidents.
A regular citizen in Delhi who usually commutes to go to his workplace and back, when on his 2-wheeler or a car, would usually stop at a red light. But then proceed to look around, and see some motorcyclists and other cars jumping the light. Seeing himself standing alone waiting for the green light with only a few vehicles beside him, he decides to the same as the others and jumps without waiting for the green light. Then a few meters ahead, he gets stuck in a Traffic Jam, and proceeds to share his frustration with another traveler beside him and tells him how people driving in Delhi have little common sense, and how useless the traffic cops are in the Capital.
A young college student plans to go on a ride to the nearest KFC with his friend on his bike. When he takes out his helmet, his friend asks, “Salle helmet kyu laga raha hai, traffic police wale se itni fatt ti hai kya?”. Seeing it as an insult to his own ego, the young lad takes off his helmet and races with his friend on their bike towards the restaurant before getting stopped by a Traffic Cop. When the cop fines the students and asks for the challan, they rebel and only oblige after a heated argument. After leaving the scene, both of them discuss how arrogant the traffic cops are and why they shouldn’t take challans from rule-breaking riders.
These are just a couple out of the many cases that happen everywhere in the capital city of Delhi. Here, the only reason why people follow traffic rules is that there are traffic cops who might catch and fine them if they don’t oblige. People wear helmets, not for their own safety, but because there’s a rule that makes it compulsory for everyone to wear helmets. For some people, especially the young ones, following the traffic rules, wearing helmets and keeping the required documents with them is almost considered a taboo. Those who do follow the rules sometimes, desire to not do so when they see half of the vehicles beside them either jumping lights or breaking basic rules or overtaking and speeding.
In such a case, no matter how many strict rules or how many new amendments to the motor vehicle bills the governments pass out, the Delhiites won’t stop breaking the traffic rules. Because to them, rules are only to be followed when someone is watching them and is not supposed to be done out of responsibility for keeping a stable flow of traffic and to keep the other vehicles and pedestrians safe on roads.
What actually needs to be changed is the perception of people. To let them know the importance of following traffic rules, and how it could help in reducing the number of deaths per year due to accidents happening in the Capital. The only possible way to change the current damaged perspective of people is through the means of education. This needs to be done from the ground level. The introduction of studies regarding the traffic regulations and rules in the school curriculum of students is a great way to ensure that all children studying in schools would grow up while knowing the basic ethics and rules to be followed on city roads.
Such plans have been made already in Hyderabad. As per a report of TOI, discussion of the State Council of Education are ongoing regarding the implementation of studies which would teach the students about the basic traffic rules, violations and the consequences of violating the rules.
Moreover, efforts should be made to make people take responsibility to follow the rules rather than having rules imposed on them. It is the arrogant and bad practices undertaken by the Traffic cops that make people see them as a threat instead of an agent for their own protection on heavily crowded city roads.
The current situation with a Delhi Traffic is a two-way problem, which could be only solved by changing the perception of the Delhiites and improving the behavior and conduct of the traffic cops, who are supposed to control and manage the intense Delhi Traffic. If these two sides remove their weaknesses, then the traffic conditions in the capital might have a scope for improvement.