Staying safe on the roads of Hyderabad

Callousness, over-speeding and sheer disregard for rules, other commuters and pedestrians are the banes of driving in the city where every road is ‘mere baap ki sadak’

By   |  Published: 1st Dec 2019  12:30 amUpdated: 30th Nov 2019  8:14 pm

Most drivers in Hyderabad believe they are Michael Schumacher’s Indian versions. The roads were laid for them. So what if they run over innocent pedestrians!

They can overtake from the left, no matter what the rules say. They can stop in the middle of the road to chat with another driver, no matter what the rules say. They can drive their vehicle slowly while enjoying the sights, no matter whether the path is being blocked for others, no matter what the rules say. Who are you to ask?

The speed limit board might say 40kmph, but they can drive at 100kmph. Stay at home if you are afraid of being knocked down. They can stop at the extreme left at the traffic signal, and cut across to the right as the signal turns green. They can honk the drums out of your ears even though you are waiting at a signal, because they don’t like obstructions in front of them. Who are you to ask?

Wait for the pedestrian to cross at a zebra line? Never! Hyderabadis are not fans of the zebra, though they like to ride horses and camels right through the middle of the city’s busy roads. Who are you to ask?

They, them who drive autos, cabs, and yes, even those who are educated and wealthy enough to go for a BMW or Mercedes SUV, care a hoot for the law, which is why there have been 16-year-olds racing around, ramming SUVs into autorickshaws and killing other people and why some keep crashing their cars frequently and though liquor bottles are found in the car, still roam around freely. Who are you to ask? 

Hyderabad was where the country’s first Traffic Penalty Point system was launched. Hyderabad was the first city to have LED-lit speed breakers installed on the road. But, Hyderabad’s drivers still remain the same. Unruly and uncouth, with utter disregard for traffic laws and safety of the self and others, blaming the infrastructure with the latest fad being ‘road engineering defect’ and yes, taking pride in having challans that shame anacondas.

The situation is such that only few now keep a count of the lives lost on the city’s roads due to irresponsible driving. Safety on the city’s streets has gone for a toss, with many pointing out that most of those who lost their lives in recent accidents were at no fault at all, with reckless driving being the culprit.

“We do not know how to be careful now. Whether we should keep scanning the sky for a car crashing down from a flyover, or keep glancing back to see if some SUV is hurtling out of control towards, we do not know,” goes a post on social media.

Just before the Biodiversity Flyover accident, the Cyberabad Traffic Police issued 550 challans for over-speeding in six days, just on the flyover. The 551st violation was the one that flew off the flyover, taking with it an innocent life.

Has that stopped over-speeding violations in the city? Ask someone who is revving to vroom off from a signal, and pat comes the reply.

‘Sadak kya tere baap ki hai?’

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