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Saftey comes first

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This week, readers will be reminded of the dangers of the roads on page four. As the article states, neither drivers nor pedestrians make the roads safe to drive or walk on. If you are someone who has to cross a main road on a daily basis, you would know that practice doesn’t make perfect. Regardless of the number of times you’ve crossed the road at that particular crossing, never is there a day when you can easily cross the road without having to wait for ages or rush to the other side in fear of being run over.

While crossing roads are never fun and it’s important to be thankful of the walk or don’t walk lights for pedestrians, even walking on the pavement isn’t safe anymore. You would be calmly walking on the pavement, looking out for crows above you or spit on the pavement when suddenly you nearly walk in to a bicycle heading towards you. For a second you wonder if you mindlessly stepped on to the road, but no, you are still safely on pedestrian-land. If having to dodge crow poop and betel juice was bad enough, you also have to dodge the ladies armed with umbrellas, perverts trying their best to bump into you, children running around, dogs, cats and sometimes even cows going to their destinations and the not that rare bicycles or even motorcycles out to run over you.

However, these troubles are for pedestrians. What about the drivers and passengers of vehicles who are not always cozy in air conditioned vehicles that smell like flowers?
It’s not a bed of roses for them either. Buses are a nightmare. The left lane is only theirs when there is a bus halt ahead. Traffic and bends aren’t even considered when overtaking. Bikes and three wheelers creep through traffic to get to the front. Horns are blared, a complete ruckus as soon as the lights turn green.
There is no need to further describe the road situation of Sri Lanka, especially Colombo. We know how it is, we curse it and thank the kind road-gods’ forgiving nature, especially regarding our blatant disregard of the law.

However, as funny as it is that the traffic can make even the holiest curse and swear, it isn’t funny when things go wrong. When people are crossing the road, or waiting to cross, be kind and let them cross. Don’t turn into roads without signaling to people that you are about to make a turn. Don’t make assumptions, either as a driver or pedestrian. Don’t assume the other person will slow down or let you cross. Wait until the coast is clear and it’s safe to overtake or cross the road.

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