Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Road Accident

That day while returning from morning walk, I saw something which I had never seen in my life. I witnessed my first-ever ‘serious-looking’ road accident happening right in from of my eyes. I experienced the immediate fear which cripples one for some moments just after the incident. I felt the anger for rash drivers running down my veins for some time. Despite my serious and sincere effort to contain my rage, I could do little to prevent it from overpowering me. And last but not the least, I felt sad, helpless and hopeless; for road accidents happen every day. Today, it was someone unknown to me; tomorrow, it can be me, or my near or dear ones. I cannot just sit quiet and watch it happen, but I feel weak as I can do nothing about it.

The story goes like this: I was coming back to the hostel from my half an hour of morning walk session in Sanjay Park, Qutab Institutional Area. All of a sudden, I heard a loud bang behind me. The sound was of the intensity which one does not encounter daily while walking on roads. Startled, I turned behind to see what was going on. What I saw froze me for a few seconds. There was an old man lying on the road with his old scooter beside him. And a Honda City was racing past him and within moments, it raced past me. Not having witnessed a road accident before, it struck to me a bit late to note down its number; and by the time I realized that I should take the number of the car, it was way ahead of me away from my sight (However, people told me later that there was no number plate on it.).

I ran to the old man who was lying unconscious in the middle of the road. People had gathered around him. Meanwhile someone decided to take him to the nearby trauma center. And with the help of an auto-driver and ‘his’ passenger, he was taken to the hospital.  I returned to the hostel, thinking about the incident feeling both angry and sad over what I witnessed.

It is easier to blame the car-driver who was involved in the accident. It should be noted that I have used the term ‘involved in the accident’ and not ‘caused the accident’. It might be the old man who was ‘more’ responsible or the only person guilty. The car-driver might have blown the horn and the old man might have panicked instead of giving him the way which led to an unfortunate incident. And then, in order to save himself, the car-driver might have ran away. After all, if not the law, the public must have gotten against him if he had stayed. And if he were taken to the police, who knows what would have happened to him and his car? I am not being the pro-car-driver and anti-old man here; I am just giving an alternative possibility of what might also have happened. There was an accident and I do not have enough information to comment on whose fault it was. But what keeps me thinking is “whose fault is it that he (or she if it was a lady who was driving the car) did not stop to help a guy who needed immediate help? The law or the pubic or his own?”

Having said that, I also question the moral sensitivity of the car-driver who thought it wiser to run away without caring about whether the man was even alive or if he immediately needed to be taken to the hospital. We, as a nation, are developing each day. God knows when we will develop our sense of compassion for others.

Whether or not the car-driver was guilty of the accident, he should have been there on the spot when the old man was being taken to the hospital. But wow, no one even knows anything about him other than the fact that he was driving a number-less Honda City and he was not just driving it but was flying it after the accident. Though I am not sure whether driving a vehicle without number plate amounts to crime, over-speeding on a busy road certainly does! In such cases, I strongly feel that we are not mature enough to be left on our own. We need a vigilant police anywhere and everywhere we go, not only on roads but inside our houses too. Our actions need to be monitored every second. Probably, only then we will learn to be a little more civic. I have heard that in some countries, they have sensors on roads which track the speed of each car on the road. And in every case of transgression of road laws, a penalty ticket is sent to the car owner. Well, if we decide not to police ourselves, using technology to keep an eye on us everywhere is the only option!

P.S. This post was to be written on the day I witnessed the accident i.e. 14th March. I had decided to write it down in the evening after my classes. But a lot happened that day (Yes! I got suspended on disciplinary grounds, but more on that later) and I could not write it for the next few day and after that laziness overpowered me. But as they say, “Better late than never!”