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People talk about a traffic violation that they have committed in recent times, and what the incident taught them about road safety.
All of us have our “silly” moments behind the wheel. Whether it is avoiding police checkpoints while driving home after a few drinks, or jumping red lights to get to work in time, the misadventures are many.
We, therefore, spoke to a few people about the driving mistakes they have knowingly or unknowingly committed, and what those taught them about road safety.
Keep your phones away
Not surprisingly, two of the incidents involved the usage of cellphones.
Says Archana Pal, a management consultant: “I was checking my email while driving when the front wheels of my car jumped over a parking block. I ended up badly damaging the vehicle.”
“It was very embarrassing,” she adds. “Now if I have to attend to an urgent call or message while driving, I always pull over to the side.”
Pawan Shah, a call centre executive who was recently caught talking on phone while driving, says, “When I got out of my car to talk to the policemen, the vehicle got locked. And, my cellphone and wallet were inside. I had to use the phone of the traffic constable to call my wife to bring the duplicate keys.”
Although he was spared from paying a fine, he now makes sure to not use his cellphone while driving.
“Using your cellphone while driving is highly distracting, and can lead to accidents. I would request everyone to keep their phones away when they are behind the wheel,” he adds.
No headlamps on
Major Bikram Singh, a retired service man, highlights another traffic violation that many of us commit.
“Since the roads around my house are well-lit, I often drive at night without my headlamps on. It’s only when I get to the main road and get dippers or honks from other drivers that I switch on the lights.”
Singh accepts that it’s a mistake, and promises to be careful from next time.
“Don’t compromise on your safety,” he adds.
Driving without a licence
If all these stories didn’t make you sit up and take notice, then hear this: business professional Sumant Mehta says he drove his car without a driving licence for four months.
“I lost my driving licence and did not want to get into the hassle of getting a new one issued. So, I just continued driving without one,” he says.
Mehta opted for a licence when he started planning for a trip to the UK, where he needed a driving permit.
“I knew I was on the wrong side of the law. Therefore, I would urge everybody to never drive without valid permits. Don’t endanger your safety as well as that of others.”
Are you belted up?
Lawyer Saket Makkar says he seldom wears a seat belt on the way to work as his shirt and tie get crushed. “I know it is not safe, but what can I do? My shirt has a hundred creases on it if I strap the seat belt. But I always wear it on the way back from work,” he adds.
If you are somebody like Makkar, you would be surprised to know how dangerous this practice is.
According to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, nearly 28,000 people lost their lives in 2017 because they were not wearing seat belts.
Therefore, all of us need to do our bit to make our roads safer. Everybody needs to make a conscious effort to drive or ride safely, no matter what the situation is.
Calling attention to the same is Hero MotoCorp’s latest campaign, ‘Hero We Care’. It encourages citizens to become a ‘Road Hero’ by pledging to always wear seat belts and helmets. A Road Hero is also the one who will be ready to help road accident victims.
To become a Road Hero, take the pledge below or SMS Hero Your Name to 8866001830.
Tags: #beAroadHero, drink driving, driver's license, embarrassing moments, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Times, HT Brand Studio, Major Bikram Singh, road safety week, Road Transport, safe driving, stories, texting