Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A letter to India

Dear India, my country, 

A driving license is a driving license. It is not an address proof or a proof of identity or domicile. It is a proof that you have the adequate requirements to drive a vehicle safely. So please issue licenses to only those who truly deserve it. 

 Rs 200 or Rs 500, a small price for many to pay. But remember human life is much valuable. A bribe is  a bribe. There is no right way to do a wrong thing. 

Can you do a massive recall of all driving licenses? Give the current licenses 'Learners' status. Let them still be valid for 2 years. Give licenses to people who know how to drive safely, responsibly. Not to people who think a car is all about steering wheel, accelerator and brake. Not to people who honk without reason, who jump lanes, drive on the wrong side, think they own the road, don't know the use of side and rear mirrors; not to people who don't know how to use a dipper, don't know traffic rules, driving etiquettes, signages.   Can you make it tough to get licenses? Make it difficult enough. 

Can you fine drivers for spitting, talking on phones, not wearing helmets, not respecting pedestrians? 

Can you be strict while dealing with traffic violations? Heavier fines, canceling licenses, canceling licenses of driving schools for multiple violations. Can you do these? Can you hold parents responsible for under aged children driving without licenses? Can you stop tolerating drunken driving? Can you stop tolerating road accidents?  Can you put systems in place to help people experiencing road rage? Can you help pedestrians feel safe?  Can you create vehicle free urban areas? Can you make owners accountable for parking? Come on, roads are public property, you can't  let private cars to be parked on them for unreasonable periods of time!

Can you do a complete crackdown on 'Driving Schools'? There job is not to get people licenses, it is to teach people how to drive. 

Can you please fix road surfaces, signages,  traffic signals, pedestrian paths, pedestrian crossings, medians, interchanges? Can you relook at parking norms? 

How else is India, my India, its cities going to function in the future? The roads of this country are its nerves, its veins. Are you going to wait for it to cripple before you take action? 

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