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Common sense is not so common!


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In our blessed island of Sri Lanka, non-adherence to road rules causing traffic congestions and accidents have always made it to the headlines of the news bulletins of print, radio and TV. During the past year, the Government has taken a few measures with the objective of curtailing the traffic congestion especially along the streets of the Megapolis. One such measure is the implementation of the ‘Bus Lanes’ and new ‘Bus Stops’. 

The other day, I was walking along Maradana Road, when I noticed that a new bus stop has been put up at a stone’s throw away from a leading school in Colombo. This particular bus stop does save students of this school the hassle of crossing the streets in which the motorists show no concern towards the pedestrians. Well, that seems to be a great idea, isn’t it? However, this morning the bus stop had become a ‘car stop’ for a few hours when a car parked itself exactly on the area demarcated for buses to stop and board pedestrians. Surprised by this act, I walked towards the car to check if the driver was still in the car and it turned out to be that he was. This car did not budge a bit for a few hours until I left the place. 

By the way, this bus stop is right opposite a police station which is also in close proximity to the school. This might seem to be ridiculous, but let us also consider the impact that acts of this nature have on hapless pedestrians and passengers. On that note, I shall list out 2 major weaknesses which I can derive from this incident.

The process of issuing the driving license

when it comes down to issuing the driving license, the rules and regulations seem to be very strict on paper. But what happens in reality is the complete opposite. Certain training centres have their own agents to ensure that the drivers who train under them are not compelled to undergo the stringent process of testing which certifies the capability of the driver. I have known certain individuals who bribed the officials just before the written test, which merely consists of questions such as identifying road signals. Therefore, the RMV should ensure that every Dick, Tom and Harry are not issued licenses, but only given to those who actually pass their driving test.

The traffic police

Those of you reading this might recall how many a police officer have requested for “santhosams” when drivers/riders are caught for traffic offences. While we, the students, are being taught that policemen are responsible for maintaining law and order and safeguarding the people, the manner in which they act in reality is obviously ironical. 

Dear motorists (who offend rules as a practice), it is highly recommended that you use something known as ‘common sense’ which will undoubtedly be highly effective in curtailing road accidents. As for the driver who parked his car at a bus stop, do keep in mind that a bus has 6 wheels while a car has 4 and that stop is in fact allocated only for the vehicle with 6 wheels!

Hassaan Shazuli

Colombo 10


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