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Actress doing ‘Dance Act’ whilst driving on Southern Expressway!

What next? Fortuitously someone had the presence of mind to inform the Southern Expressway authorities to slap a hefty fine on this Actress who may have had a brain-freeze when she did a ‘Dance Act’ whilst speeding on the Expressway. More than a fine, she should have been banned from driving for at least 2 years and made to undergo a comprehensive course in Expressway Driving!


Driving is not a game; a car is not a toy

Does over-confidence bring about this notion that one could do anything on the road whilst driving, maybe due to the ultra-efficiency and yes, driver friendliness of modern cars. Perhaps when eventually completely autonomous cars ‘hit’ our paradise isle, then you could play that game of ‘Scrabble’ with your significant other – but till then – all eyes and ears on the core business of driving for safety of you – the driver and all others within compartment of your car and of course all other road users around you, period!


Seriously there is anarchy on our roads

If this is not an understatement, what is? Chief offenders - Trishaws, M/cycles and Private Buses and indeed adding to the deadly and chaotic mix, pedestrians who appear to be harbor a ‘Death-Wish’ – all a law unto themselves! Instead of replicating ‘Orderly Singapore’ we Sri Lankans are fast descending to the absolute bedlam associated with some towns in India where ‘anything goes’! The reasons are many: from roads that are bursting at the seams, to most drivers/riders who do not have a clue about driver courtesy and ethics, instead preferring to wear badge of ‘Me First’ [to hell with all others!]; most appear not to be aware of the Highway Code, painstakingly drafted decades ago, now thrown to the archives of moth-eaten history – and it shows, day in day out in roads, hellishly!


Cops are vigilant re booking car drivers on even touching the White Line

Such over-zealous Traffic Cops obviously can’t see the wood for the trees in backdrop of far more serious traffic violations that all add up to the escalation of road fatalities, now reaching grisly heights – seriously out numbering tragic Dengue related deaths by leaps and bounds – for example the dengue deaths number 225 for first six months, whilst traffic related fatalities: a sad 1400!


Mr. Traffic Policemen: Why turn a blind eye to crazy antics of Trishaws?

For example (ref photo of a 3-wheelers squeezing right across 90 degrees thru bumper to bumper traffic!] This photo of a lunatic Trishaw Johnnie says it all: No further comment from ‘Snippets’!


Tyre treads checking is still not heard of!

Check photos of 'suddenly over turned' cars, double cabs etc - for sure tyres are at fault! As tyre health, meaning tread wear doesn’t seem to get the attention it requires, ‘Snippets’ proposes that at least annually when one takes his/her vehicle for the ‘Emission Test’, the 04 tyres too be photographed and an appropriate rating say on scale of 1 to 5 be included: 5 – Excellent; 4 – good; 3 – fair; 2 – poor [tyre needs replacing in 3 months] and 01 – unsatisfactory – tyre/s to be replaced within 30 days – if not Revenue License is withheld, making driving that particular car illegal. Please do realize that driving about with worn out tyres would seriously jeopardize your SAFETY as your tyres are the ONLY link to mother earth when driving, simple as that! Life is too precious to be squandered just for a tyre!


Many readers wanted a re-run of my Pet Peeves as they can relate to them!

[a] Driving a swanky SUV worth Twenty Million Bucks but with worn out tyres – reason? Tyres ‘too expensive’ to buy! How ironic, you drive metal costing Rs20M but no money for tyres!!


[b] Having interior of car smelling like a ‘Garbage Dump’ with creepy crawlies abounding due to ample ‘stocks’ of week old food particles still rotting inside cabin; driver & occupants not caring two hoots for the absolute mess inside car and carrying on regardless! “What to do – we are forced to have our breakfast on the go and the few food tit-bits that we drop – well we don’t have the time to clean it out – we are so busy, you know…..”; not a figment of my imagination! Remember: a Clean Car is a Safe Car. We need responsible car-ownership please!


[c] ‘Forgetting’ to Service car you drive even after 2 years and 20,000 km done – never having checked level of liquids or even engine oil – leave alone levels – where Dip Sticks are foreign! So eventually the ‘good car’ grinds to a halt and refuses to budge, ‘no more’ – the moronic owner driver bad-mouths the Brand of car/SUV! Come on, its time you respected your wheels! This too is a ‘true story’ – such people are alive & kicking in this sunny island paradise. If a ‘poor car’ car could only talk – ‘they’ would sue such errant, irresponsible idiots, big time, won’t they?!!


[d] Driving around with retracted side mirrors, saying that ‘they don’t ever check mirrors whilst driving or reversing!’ To add insult to injury such ‘drivers’ have the gall to say they don’t ‘believe’ in car mirrors as they have been driving for 30 years without checking mirrors!!


[e] Thinking it a cool to drive around town a SUV worth Rs.40M but coated with mud & sludge after “that last trip to Yala a fortnight ago” – like a badge of honour! No, I’m not joking!


[f] Trishaws suddenly starting off from kerb on to moving traffic sans any signal forcing vehicles to swerve away dangerously as a means of survival, whilst Trishaw ass moves on regardless!


[g] Trishaws doing U-Turns anywhere & everywhere! Blocking traffic at will. This has become a ‘Standard Practice’ of 3-wheeelers’ – never eliciting punitive action by Police – WHY??


[h] Trishaws & Motor cycles overtaking in droves on left grazing Side Mirrors and riding off with nary a pause – is this the ‘New Order’ on our rule-less roads? Who cares, anyway?


(i) Trishaws & Motor Cycles worming their way to the front of the queue at intersections waiting for the Lights to change; and when Green comes along, they mostly struggle to fire their engines thus wasting valuable seconds, evoking expletives!  Here again, No Police Action: WHY?


[j] Trishaws & Motor Cycles mindlessly riding as slow as possible on Center of road clogging traffic for miles on end. Yours truly recalls a phrase he made in his ‘Snippets’ column way back in 2003, that’s 14 years ago: “Traffic is as fast as the slowest 3-wheeler hogging the center of the road, as if he is the center of the universe.”  Not much has changed since isn’t it folks?


[k] Drivers of buses using main road as spittoon - gaily spitting out they phlegm and chewed beetle out of window of moving buses, regardless of where such ‘missiles’ land! Yuk!


[l] School van drivers using residential lanes as Parking Lots - obstructing entry exits of bona fide residents; some also use these lanes as a toilet and garbage dumping with radios at full blast!


[m] Pedestrians crossing or darting across moving traffic 10 meters away from designated Pedestrian Crossing. Honestly, these Pedestrians – why do they harbor a ‘Death Wish’??


[n] Drivers/Riders not slowing down when approaching a Pedestrian Crossing or even flashing past a Pedestrian Crossing when people are halfway on the Crossing, marooned! No wonder the number of pedestrians who get knocked down at Pedestrian Crossings and die is increasing alarmingly – perhaps due to ‘hardly noticeable’ / ill-lit Crossings; what death traps! Who cares!


My list of Pet Peeves would go on, yet, let’s pause awhile – be thankful for all the Blessings we still enjoy in this lovely island – so do enjoy your drive with Zero Alcohol & sufficient sleep before well planned journey. Cheers! Dyan [dyans@sltnet.lk & dyan.sene@gmail.com]