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Monday, April 4, 2011

Energy consumption and disobedience of traffic rules: a measure of quality of life ?

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Energy consumption has become a measure of quality of life these days. The life styles of farmers living in remote villages are considered to be very low because they don’t have any access to Liquified Natural Gas (LPG) for cooking. They don’t have any access to electricity either. Very few motorised vehicles are seen in remote village areas as people living in these villages remain too poor to buy such vehicles. Thus the levels of energy expenses are very low in such villages. On the other hand villages of sub-urban areas earn their living in better ways and usually remain in sound financial conditions. Most of the houses in such villages have agricultural machines and implements. These houses may have the electric supply and electric operated equipments like electric operated motor pumps for irrigation, electric fans, lights etc. Thus, the living standards of these villagers remain higher. Here we see that people residing in such type of villages consume more energy due to which their life standard remains higher or it is thought to be like that. Now, it is evident that the consumption of energy has become the measure of the quality of life.

In urban areas people go on buying cars and car companies are busy in bringing out newer models. Some of these people do not even know about minor traffic rules or do not have proper driving licences. Out of these, many don’t really need them. Moving in shared vehicles or using public transport systems is some sort of lowly trend for them. These people cover fairly vast areas of roads and disturb other people going for really important and urgent works. Some of these don’t have any civic sense either. Here is an example to prove this.

Once while I was standing near a shop for some purpose, I was suddenly disturbed by a loud horn of a car. The road was made congested by parking of a number of bicycles, scooters, and motorbikes. There was a bicycle parked carelessly on the roadside. Though the gentleman could have moved ahead with a little effort but instead of applying his brain he remained blowing horn repeatedly. I felt the problem with the gentleman on the driving seat, stepped down, went straight to the bicycle, caught it by both the hands and parked it properly. No sooner than I touched the cycle for safe parking, the gentleman inside the car started scolding me rubbishly. It touched me seriously and I too started shouting at the man and throwing hardest words on him while pilling myself towards the centre of the circle of the civic area in my mind.

The man came out of the car with great anger as if he could kill me but seeing the crowd there in my favour went back, and accelerated his car towards his home ahead. Someone out of the crowd thanked me loudly and justified my act saying, “Well done Bhaisaheb! He is a perfect rogue and always behaves like this. He is the unruly son of his wealthy father who has nothing to do but to show his standard and style.”

“Well, then why didn’t you yourself come out to say something in my favour while I was showing the herculean courage? Now I am in danger of being seen by his men later on some day. The bicycle was not mine and I had just come here on foot to purchase something.”
The man disappeared.

Here are some traffic rules and regulations that I am quoting directly from automobiles.indiabizclub.com, very humbly for those who don’t know these Indian  rules and regulations or for them who know but just don’t care  to follow -

Every driver should possess adequate knowledge and understanding of the following provisions of Motor Vehicle  Act 1988 :

Section 122)Leaving vehicle in dangerous position
No person shall park his vehicle in public place in such a way that it causes danger,obstruction or inconvenience to other road users.
   
Section 123)Riding on running board
Carriage of persons on running board and on the top or on the bonnet of motor vehicle is strictly prohibited.
   
Section 125)Obstruction to the driver
No person driving a motor vehicle shall allow any person to stand or sit or anything to be placed in such a manner as to hamper the driver in his control of the vehicle.
   
Section 126)Stationary vehicle
While keeping the vehicle stationery in public place its Mechanism should be stopped, brakes must be applied or such measures should be taken as to ensure that vehicle cannot accidently be put in motion.
   
Section 128)Pillion Rider
No driver of two-wheeled motor cycle shall carry more than one person, on pillion seat.
    
Section 130)Production of Documents
A) The driver of motor vehicle in any public place shall on demand produce his driving licence and certificate of registration of the vehicle for examination.
B) Beside these documents driver of transport vehicle shall produce Road Permit Fitness Certificate, Authorisation if any Certification of Taxation on demand.
   
Section 134) Duty of Driver in case of Accident
If you are involved in an accident then you should -
  • Stop
  • Give your own and vehicle owners name and address to any person who gives his name and address
  • Give possible medical aid to injured person.
  • Report the matter to the nearest Police Station as soon as possible or within 24 hours.     
Section 185)Driving by drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs
Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six month, or with fine which may extend to Rs.2000/- or with both.
   
Section 186)Driving when mentally or physically unfit to drive
Whoever drives a motor vehicle in any public place when he is to his knowledge suffering from any disease or disability, calculated to cause his driving of the vehicle to be a source of danger to the public, shall be punishable for the first offence with fine which may extend to Rs.200/-.

Section 207)Power to detain the vehicle
The Motor Vehicle Inspector may detain the vehicle used -
  • Without certificate of registration.
  • Without permit.
  • Without driving licence
Overtaking :- Driver must take following precautions before overtaking
  • Overtaking is prohibited at blind turns, corners, hill top, when indicated not to overtake by traffic signal or road markings.
  • Overtaking only from right hand side. (Except when vehicle ahead is turning right)
  • Make your intentions clear before overtaking & do not overtake unless driver ahead permits you to do so.
  • While overtaking, distance of vehicle coming from opposite direction, its speed and road gradient plays an important role.
  • Before starting to overtake look in your rear view mirror & confirm that nobody else is overtaking you.
  • If in doubt do not overtake.
  • When being overtaken driver shall not increase speed or do anything to other vehicle passing it.
  • Come back to your own lane as soon as the vehicle which you have overtaken is seen in the mirror.
Caution at road junction and give way 
The driver of a motor vehicle shall slow down when approaching a road intersection, a road junction, pedestrian crossing or a road corner, and shall not enter, until he has become aware that the he may do so without endangering the safety of persons thereon and shall give way to all traffic approaching on the right hand side of the road. On mountains road or steep roads vehicles traveling down hill shall give precedence to vehicle going up hill.

Fire service vehicles and ambulance to be given free passage
Every driver shall on the approach of fire service vehicle or of an ambulance allow it free passage by drawing his vehicle to the left side of the road.

Pedestrial crossing
The pedestrian have right of way at any pedestrian crossings (Zebra crossing). When a solid yellow or white line is painted on road at pedestrian crossing no driver shall drive a motor vehicle so that part thereof projects beyond that line.

Towing 
  • No vehicle other than mechanically disabled vehicle shall be towed by any vehicle.
  • There shall be a licence holder driver in the vehicle being towed or its steering wheels shall be elevated from the road.
  • On the rear of vehicle being towed letters "ON TOW" shall be displayed.
  • Distance between two vehicle shall not be more than 5mts.
  • Speed of the vehicle towing another vehicle shall not be more than 24 km/Hrs.
Distance from vehicle in front 
The driver of vehicle moving behind another shall keep sufficient distance from the vehicle in front (one vehicle length distance for every 15km/hr). More the speed more is the distance between two vehicles.

Carrying persons in tractor and goods vehicles
A driver when driving a tractor shall not carry or allow to carry any person on tractor. Goods vehicles driver shall not carry passengers on Hire or Reward.

Number of persons / labour allowed to carry in the vehicle
A) Three Wheeler (but not by the side of driver) - 1 Bonafide employee
1) LMV Transport (D/van,Tempo) - 3 Bonafide employee
2) Heavy goods vehicle (Truck) - 6 Bonafide employee
(Not applicable for vehicle plying on inter state route or from one city to another city)

Projection of load :-
No Person shall drive any motor vehicle with is loaded in manner likely to cause danger to any person in such manner that the load projects laterally beyond the side of body or to the front or the rear or in height beyond permissible limits. (Projection in Height - 3.8mtrs. Projection at the Rear -1.85mtrs.)

Driving reverse gear :-
No driver shall drive in reverse gear without first satisfying himself that it will not cause danger to others.

Use of horns and silence zones :-
A driver of a vehicle shall not -
  • Sound the horn needlessly or continuously or more than necessary to ensure safety.
  • Sound the horn is silence zones.
  • Drive a vehicle creating undue noise when in motion.
  • Drive a vehicle with a muffler causing alarming sound.
  • Sound the multi tuned horn or shrill horns.

During the modern era, there is a competition for getting more and more facilities and for enjoying more and more comfortable life. Facilities and comforts demand more and more energy. All types of materials and machines that are used in our day to day life need lots of energy either in their production or in their operation. Nothing is possible without energy. But the sources of energy are very limited. As such the pressure on energy sources is growing continuously. It is compounded by the growth in population and demands. Most often, human beings use sources of energy even when it is not important. Such life styles are wasteful. Wasting energy just to demonstrate a high life style is always unwise and irresponsible. On the other hand responsible people make the conservation as their way of life. They prefer energy efficient housing and energy efficient vehicles. A little more conscious and responsible people move in shared vehicles, buses or on bicycles instead of moving in luxury cars though they can afford it. Many rich but less important people who have sufficient time to move from one location to other location even on foot, move in cars through busy roads contributing their efforts in traffic jams. All these problems are generated through the process of upgrading life styles of irresponsible people.

Key Words : Energy consumption, measure, quality of life, disobedience, traffic rules

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