Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Drive Safely.....Blog about Jordan
Let us face it the whole country is running out of options in terms of what to do about those ongoing never ending day in and day out traffic accidents. They pleaded, beseeched, installed cameras, exhorted, threatened and imposed hefty fines to no avail. People continue with their good old driving habits, accidents continue, and fatalities and injuries get added up to the long list of the ream of statistics. Studies after study were conducted, some put the blame on the reckless drivers, others put the blame on the conditions of the dilapidated cars, and the road designs had their share of the blame as well. What is the real cause of this traffic blight and is there a feasible solution that would at least alleviate rather than eliminate this daily scourge. Your guess is as good as mine; I have personally lost several relative members in Jordan due to traffic accidents. I have come close to having an accident on a number of occasions while driving in Jordan , but thank God they all were mere close calls. Will this problem go away any time soon? I doubt it, in my opinion it is all about attitude, unless the drivers themselves decide to abide by some kind of an attitude code of ethics and yield the right of way to the next driver, the problem will never go away. I honestly don't think that it is road problem or old cars problem, it is reckless & offensive driving problem. I think that the government ought to make it mandatory for every driver the good and the bad one to attend at least two to three courses totaling approximately 12 clock hours of defensive driving on an annual basis. Passing these courses would be contingent upon keeping the person's driving privileges current and valid, those who ignore taking the courses ought to have their driver's licenses suspended first and then revoked if they insist on ignoring the taking and passing the defensive driving course. If you think about it, most of the accidents are caused by aggressive driving, speeding, not obeying traffic lights, ignoring the traffic signs, and so on and so forth. All these pitfalls can be eliminated with a refresher course about defensive driving. Imposing higher fines will only aggravate the problem rather than mitigate it. We must adhere to the concept of continuing education for the young as well as the old. Continuous public awareness techniques work on the long run much better than saber rattling. The insurance companies can join the fray by offering incentives of their own. The traffic department can get on the act as well by offering incentives of their own like giving 5 to 10% discount on car registration. In other words it had to be a collaborative synergic effort. A bench mark must be established determining what is acceptable versus what is excessive. As a father to 4 children I'm very concerned that some day I may have to face what Qadoura father had faced, or my children are going to become fatherless in case I end up the one being lost to a traffic accident. It is very freighting thought, one day you are here and the next day you are gone because of a reckless driver. In this world of ours there are things that are within our means and we can do something about them, and there are other things that are beyond our means and there is nothing that we can do about them. Driving responsibly on the streets of our capital and on the highways leading to our rural areas is something within our means and each and every one of us can and should do something about it. Squishing six cars in three cars lane is an obvious no no, double and triple parking obstructing the follow of the traffic is another more than obvious no no, illegal U turns in the middle of busy streets, backing up in highways, tailgating, honking unnecessarily, not using turning signals, changing lanes haphazardly, are all no no no and we all know it but continue on doing it. It shouldn't be that way and it must stop. If we all some how get convinced that we are going to start driving defensively rather than aggressively & offensively, we will all get there to our intended destination where our loved ones are patiently waiting for us, and expecting us to arrive there whole unscathed. In sum driving is art, gusto, and character. What you manifest on the street represents you, your family, your tribe, and your country.