Lady who boasts of “absolute confidence to go fast”!
Snippets attended a party at Galle recently and there was this lady who was going on and on how she loves to drive fast even on narrow roads as she is “confident of herself” – intrigued, yours truly kept on listening intently and was even more shocked when she disclosed that although she is stopped by numerous Traffic Cops for all manner of traffic violations, she sweet talks herself out of each such tricky situation and that she has to date ‘never parted’ with her Driving License and other relevant documents. So there – so much for professional Police Officers!
Much decorated Ex Officer from Tri-Forces brags how he flashes his Forces ID and escapes!
At same party there was also another boastful traffic offender – a much decorated, now retired officer from the forces who incredulously claims that he too has never parted with his DL despite being nabbed for speeding and a myriad traffic related offences. His ploy to ‘escape’ the long arm of the Law? Simple, just show his Forces ID that elicits an apologetic ‘Sorry Sir’!
This same one time hero also disclosed how he bribes the numerous traffic cops on way to his favourite destinations with numerous goodies ‘gifted’ to the many Traffic Cops stationed along his usual route out of town. No wonder then that traffic offences continue to mount!
Post-Script of boastful ‘Lady’ & ‘Forces Officer’ a.k.a. serial ‘Traffic Offenders’
The aforementioned true stories that ‘Snippets’ heard ‘first hand’ and in person epitomizes the current almost hopeless situation compounded by ‘influential’ members of the public, bent on circumventing the law with impunity as long as they are okay. This ‘as long as I am ok Jack’ syndrome is a malaise that afflicts the very core of SL society. And such blatant anti-social behavior is observed by their family, friends and worse: their underage children! They will obviously grow to think and act in this same boorish, unacceptable manner, continuing to blight SL Law and indeed Traffic Rules & Regulations. Oh how we yearn for a fearless, upright Head of Police who would complement an absolutely competent, no nonsense Minister of Law & Order. Let’s hope!
Another ‘accident’ where a driver mows down a pedestrian
It was recently reported that a driver mowed down an elderly pedestrian in the Pandura area. The suspect driver who was earlier released by the magistrate on a personal bail of Rs. One Million was eventually ordered to pay Rs 2 lakhs to the family of the pedestrian she ran over. Surely is a precious life worth just 2 lakhs? Drivers who love to speed on public roads because they are ‘confident of handling speed’ should be hauled over the coals when nabbed for negligent driving and speeding and not be bowled over by so-called ‘sweet talk’ or when an impressive and/or powerful ID Card is flashed to traffic cops on duty who should yes, carry out their duties fearlessly and not be cowed down by anti-social elements as dereliction of a Traffic Cop’s duty could eventually snuff out life of a fellow citizen, now soaring to unimaginable levels. And no one appears to care!
Pedestrian Crossings must be well lit after dusk and other vital elements
‘Snippets’ has taken this issue up ad nauseam: most Pedestrian Crossings are hardly noticeable leave alone at night, during broad daylight too! The authorities must launch campaign of  Re-siting Pedestrian Crossings presently located just before or after a dangerous bend or at a Bus Stop when pedestrians are unsighted when buses block their view  Re-paint all crossings with luminous paint where now markings have all virtually disappeared!  All pedestrian crossings must be extremely well illuminated ideally via solar power [one sees well-functioning solar powered lights at ‘Veli-Park’ down Nawala Road, Nugegoda]  Installing Traffic Light signals at almost every Pedestrian Crossing is impractical and simply too costly – see them sprouting up here there and everywhere in downtown Colombo and even other parts of the City and outskirts.
Why are the Police once again ignoring Jaywalkers?
Do you recall the days when the Traffic Police suddenly became activated and ‘realized’ that there is a vulnerable group named ‘Pedestrians’ and started campaign of fining errant pedestrians left right and center for Jaywalking – this feverish ‘operation’ lasted just a few weeks and as usual, inevitably came to a standstill. And habit of Jaywalking is back in full swing! What is frustrating is that quite a few of them simply saunter across a road thru heavy moving traffic and not use a Pedestrian Crossing, maybe located a mere 10 meters away! Such law-breakers must be docked ASAP and warned first before imposing apt spot fines or place them in remand custody for a day or two if unable to fork out fine imposed. Unless and until deterrent punishment is meted out this virtual state of anarchy might gather momentum sickeningly to a point of no return!
Why earlier proposal of heavy fine of Rs 25,000 still not implemented?
Many of us might have seen the gory YouTube scenes of an innocent push-cyclist being crushed to death against a wall by a speeding Private Bus that lost control when overtaking another bus in clear day light hours. The cry by most concerned citizens is that the Government just like it got suddenly activated by bulldozing illegal constructions in Mirissa, must take a courageous stand and immediately impose tough punitive action by really fining them Rs 25K at least [some suggest doubling fines due to mounting deaths] against negligent drivers, especially those killer drivers behind wheel of buses and trucks that have a penchant for running over pedestrians, push cyclists and motor cyclists – the latter sometimes appear to harbor an acute and suicidal death-wish!
Rs One Million should be imposed when death is caused by proven negligence!
The Government should prepare legislation where a driver who by sheer negligence causes the death of any person on a public highway must be imposed a penalty of not less than Rs One Million and/or face a term of rigorous imprisonment of not less than 2 years. When such a serious punishment awaits, these present day killer drivers they would fall in line pronto!
“Zero Alcohol when behind Wheel” – Grand Prix anti-alcohol slogan 2018. Let’s adhere to this commonsensical appeal. So if you have taken a couple or feeling drowsy, STOP, don’t drive! Dyan Seneviratne