There were a few news items recently or should I say few deaths reported in the news papers recently which are not just news or deaths but lessons.

1. Two youngsters going on a bike dashed against a stationary lorry while trying to negotiate a pothole and the rider died and the pillion rider is serious.

2. Two youngsters going on a bike dashed against a lamp post which is positioned dangerously on the curve they were taking. The rider died.

3. A 23 year old woman/wife/mother died when a MTC bus dashed the bike she was riding with her husband and one year old child. All of them fell down and dragged for a distance. The woman riding as a pillion rider who suffered fatal injuries.

4. A 4 year old girl died while playing by a lorry backing up.

Ok. One more news item. One more statistic. One more accident. One more life. A few vehicles getting into accident from among lakhs of vehicles on road. A few lives from among crores of people in India. What is the hype for? What about the husband. He may go ahead and marry one more time. It is possible that the parents of the girl may beget another child. The youngsters at least have lived for some time.

It is just numbers for people who are not involved personally. They can look at these things objectively. Meanwhile the one year child will go motherless. A natural birth is not easy to predict. Look at the infertility clinics, coming up everywhere. The youngster might have been the bread winner of the family, not bread & jam winner.

In the first two cases it is very easy to blame the corporation;for the potholes and the positioning of the lamp post. It is even very easy to blame the lorry driver for parking his vehicle where he parked. In the case of the woman the immediate culprit was the bus driver and in the case of the child, the lorry driver. Case solved, eh Watson!

But the cases don’t end. They recur, in another place, in another family. Why? The causes are not solved. That’s why! Let us look at the facts once again. The pot holes are not new on our roads as also the stationary lorries. They should not exist, of course. But what about the riders? Can’t they ride sensibly? Can’t they slow down before trying to avoid the pot holes and other obstructions?

The youngster in the first case died of chest injuries and not head injuries as he was wearing a helmet. Even helmet is not the ultimate solution. It is only the second line of defense! The first line of defense is sensible and careful driving. If only the youngster had applied the brake and slowed down the accident wouldn’t have happened and the family wouldn’t be in mourning. In the second case also the braking and slowing down at the tight curve would have helped in avoiding the lamp post.

In the third case the first thing that comes to mind is helmet. But most of the public think of what is outside than what is inside their heads. Helmets are necessary at least as a second line of defense for the riders but for the pillion riders, it is their only line of defense. Of course they can be watchful of the traffic around them and what is happening in front, which is little difficult for saree clad women who sit sideways.

In the fourth case the child was playing on the road. Of course there may be no other place for her to play. Let us not get ourselves dragged into the plight of pavement dwellers who get run over by drunk and rash drivers. The parents of the child should have warned the child about the danger of playing on roads. Now they have to live not only with the grief but also with the guilt.

Does the case rest now! I don’t think so. These are only words to express my anguish.