Road Safety

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I am writing this from my bed as my foot is in a plaster cast and I can only walk around the house with the help of a crutch. All this because the roads of Pondicherry are so choked with vehicles that no one has any place to move. People like me, riding a scooter, are pushed off the road by bigger vehicles.

This is how it all happened. I was coming back from a friend’s house on Romain Rolland Street. I found myself in front of the Cluny hospital where half the road space is taken up by parked motorcycles. What is left of the road is too little for two way traffic. In front of me was a SUV vehicle so it left me with no space to continue on my way. I could have just gone back and turned into Surcouf Street and continued on Suffren Street. But that would be a long detour, moreover Suffren street is badly lit at night.

I decided to get off my scooter and push it on the narrow space left beside the SUV while I walked on the sloping cement bit that that was between the road and the pavement. Unfortunately my foot slipped and I fell down and my scooter fell on my foot. I got up, sat on the scooter and came back home. It was only in the morning that I found out, after I had it x-rayed, that my foot had a fracture.

I told the doctor at Nallam Clinic, while he was putting the plaster on my foot, that I was going to sue the Cluny hospital. His answer was: “It wasn’t the fault of the Cluny hospital. It was the fault of the Government.” I am sorry, but I beg to differ. In my opinion, it was the fault of the Cluny hospital which has done nothing to create a parking space for the large number of people who come there every day.

If the roads are used for parking then where will the traffic move?

I feel now that this fall happened to remind me that I have not done enough for the traffic situation in Pondicherry. So I am going to do what I had planned to do long back – create a booklet for children to teach them about road safety. I believe that only children will learn and they will teach their parents how to use the roads. I will distribute these books in schools and wait for the results.

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