The thrill of driving a motorized vehicle at a high speed is rather enjoyable, especially in Maldives with limited entertainment on offer. Though enjoyable this kind of entertainment proves to be deadly more often than not.
Stretching out over the water to 1.39 kilometers in length and 20 meters in width is our very own Sina-male’ bridge between Male’ and Hulhule’. The bridge is connected to Male’ ring road which mirrors the lanes to that of the bridge and from Hulhule’ to Hulhumale’; a highway 4 kilometers long. It offers people a means of escape from their everyday lives, be it from Male’ to Hulhumale’ or vice versa. It is our latest entertainment, so to speak. This landmark, certainly made our lives easier yet our irresponsible behavior whilst driving coupled with pure disregard for rules and regulations have made it perilous.
Since its opening quite a few accidents have taken place on the bridge, highway and connecting roads. In the first month itself 36 accidents were reported, said Chief Station Inspector of Traffic Police Department Mohamed Hassan. As such whilst driving we must not throw caution to the wind for the thrill of the moment. Your own as well as fellow driver’s safety are of paramount importance.
Prior to obtaining license whilst undergoing practical and theory test all the rules and regulations of Transport Authority are strictly complied with, yet, once we pass the test and obtain the license everything is conveniently forgotten. Law enforcers need to take extra measures in ensuring the said rules are complied with and further create more road safety awareness programs for all those concerned, especially, our adolescents. Those who do not comply and are deemed as traffic violators must be dealt with accordingly. However, it is to be noted that it is not only the responsibility of law enforcers, and that the responsibility falls on our shoulders as well. As such, lets us all work together to create a safer environment for all of us to enjoy.
I, like many of you enjoy driving on the bridge. The waves frolicking under sunny rays and feeling the fresh breeze upon my face surely is invigorating. It is hard to enjoy the feeling of nature surrounding you much less feel safe when groups of adolescents race recklessly by overtaking as they please.
Whilst some do drive as though they are racing against time others infuriate by driving at a speed slower than the set speed limit and not giving way. Both of these approaches to driving are equally dangerous. Indicators are a thing of the past. Changing from lane to lane at the drop of a hat sans any indication. General lack of concentration while driving. Distraction which comes with mobile phones as pings and notifications. Stopping by the side of the road for selfies and pictures of the amazing scenery, or to change into a rain-coat since its pouring down, surely is against the rules yet quite a significant number of drivers tend to do just that.
Last but not least two or three people on motorcycles driving by in the same lane at the same pace, having boisterous talks and erupting in laughter every now and then, failing to give way to fellow drivers is the height of kicking rules to the curb.
Rules and regulations are there for a reason. Neither you nor I are exempted from it. Ignoring it surely has caused drivers a hefty price resulting in lives lost or serious wounds lasting a lifetime. It is high time we learned our lesson.
Living another day equals to seeing another dawn, choose to drive safely!