Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How rude are we?

How rude are we?
The TImes of India

When it comes to uncouth motoring on city roads, whether it is dashing youngster or the old, there is no difference.

Honking, rude gestures or verbal insults are the most common forms of road rage experienced by drivers on the road. “It could be because most don’t want to stop to abuse the other driver for bad driving,’’ a police officer said, adding that many prefer to drive on than stop, specially in bumper-to-bumper traffic to take on an errant driver. “Sometimes the driver neglects even a light dent in the vehicle and allows the offender to get away after a verbal abuse. Who would want to get late for office,’’ the officer asked.

According to a recent survey, anti-social behaviour on the roads is so common that around 58% of the drivers had experienced various acts ranging from persistent honking of horns, flashing headlights and rude gestures to physical assault. In India, 29% of the drivers suffer persistent sounding of horns and 27% face persistent flashing headlights while driving as against 14% who face physical assault or use of weapon. The statistics in the US and UK were 14%, 27% and 1% and 36%, 33% and 2% respectively. Among suggestions to check aggressive driving/ road rage: Penalise offenders severely. Enforce laws strictly. Organise awareness programmes for road users — motorists, riders, pedestrians. Improve infrastructure — roads, footpaths, pedestrian crossings, signals, etc.


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