The Driving Seat


The Driving Seat

by Anarkalli Aakarssha

SAFE DRIVING: I’m standing on the pedestrian crossing.

I’m trying to grab all the steel monsters’ attention.

My hand is stretched out in hope that someone will give me way.

Yet, every time I step towards the main road, I have to step backwards again as not even one monster will let me pass.

Their engines are roaring, my heart is beating. Should I or shouldn’t I cross ? What choice do I have ?

Drivers please remember that one day you and your loved ones, will have to cross the road. Therefore open your hearts and minds.

Being in the driving seat of a motor vehicle in Sri Lanka is a huge responsibility.

When you are driving with people inside the vehicle, you are responsible for the persons travelling with you as well as the pedestrians on the road.

When we look back at the alarming rise of accidents on the road, it leaves us with the sad impression that travelling in Sri Lanka is a risk.

Last week whilst my mother and I were travelling we were horrified to see the driver of the vehicle next to us.

The driver was a little boy who was about six years old and the vehicle he was driving was a jeep.

The child’s parents were seated next to him laughing and watching the child take total control of the steering wheel.

Luckily, we spotted two Police officers and reported what we witnessed.

The police then confronted the family regarding the incident; I sincerely hope the parents of the child got their heads examined.

Drinking and driving, talking on the phone while driving, not stopping on the red light are all punishable offences. Cautious driving should not be considered as an unpopular choice or as a laughing matter.

You may think that you are the best driver in the world, but you must remember that no one can guarantee that the person sharing the road with you has a balanced state of mind while driving.

Pedestrians should also be alert when crossing the road, they should only cross when the green light is switched on for the pedestrians to cross.

Pedestrians should look out for a pedestrian crossing and look left and right before crossing the road.

It would be appreciated if there would be an increase in the amount of pedestrian crossings on the road. Drivers in Sri Lanka should learn to be more patient and considerate.

Another section of drivers suffer from ‘my vehicle is bigger than yours’ syndrome.

Simply reject the challenge to prove that you own the road.

They may try to overtake you, they may try to block you, be intelligent. Don’t follow their path and end up endangering yourself and others.

If you find yourself sandwiched between two buses as if you are their afternoon snack, drive slow and let them pass.

Even if you are late for a meeting or a function remember human life comes before anything else.

When drivers find they are tired traveling back home after a long journey, they should stop for tea, wash the face, rest a little and then start the journey.

Never continue driving if you are feeling drowsy or ill.

When I was seven years old, my family and I were returning home after a journey out of Colombo.

The driver fell asleep and crashed into a shop on the side of the road.

Thank God, no one was badly hurt.

Your light bulb moment to change your driving habits shouldn’t arrive after you’ve met with an accident.

The fundamentals of road safety should be reminded frequently and I would like to urge the media to give the public constant reminders about safeguarding our pedestrians, passengers and drivers.

Road safety measures are created for your protection, please follow these directions for a more secure Lanka.

Everyone has a right to see a tomorrow. Don’t snatch that away by being a careless driver.

Drive safe and take care.