News on Sunday

Young professionals discuss sanctions for road accidents

Since the beginning of this year, we have witnessed terrible road accidents whereby people have lost their lives and some were seriously injured. Reckless driving has been targeted as a major cause. What sanctions should be taken when someone is caught drink driving? What punishment should be given to hit and run cases? Young professionals feel very concerned about these tragic accidents and voice out their opinions on this issue. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8038","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-14091 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"300","alt":"Yudish"}}]]Yudhish Rama: “Inspire, connect and rise”

Yudhish Rama, Lecturer in Movement and Physical Education Department, Mauritius Institute of Education, is the 2016 JCI Mauritius National President. This year, he has embarked on a journey to ‘Inspire. Connect. Rise.’ “My vision is that JCI Mauritius Inspire others through our commitment, passion and actions as young active citizens. Through the Active Citizens Framework (ACF), my team and I are keen to connect with local communities, NGOs, like minded partners and the government in finding sustainable solutions to meet community needs. Finally, JCI Mauritius rises as the youth platform which provides development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

“Moreover, through development opportunities, Junior Chamber International helps individuals to expand their personal and skill development, understand the role of an active citizen, learn project management, acquire knowledge about entrepreneurship and inculcate valuable principles needed to be leaders of tomorrow,” he avers. Yudhish also wants to support to the United Nations in its endeavour to ensure everlasting peace, we are driven to promote Mauritius as a model to the world emphasizing on harmony in a multicultural set up. “We are also willing to ease the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Mauritius. As a team, we are eager to collaborate with other sectors of society. In 2016, as President, I will encourage young active citizens to ‘Just Act’,” he explains.

  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8039","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-14092 alignright","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"262","height":"300","alt":"young pro dhiren"}}]]Dhiren Bisnathsing: “Serious penalties such as jail term”

Business Development Manager in a private firm, Dhiren Bisnathsing argues that the number of road traffic accidents are increasing at an alarming rate. “I believe we are reaching a saturation point in terms of number of vehicles on the road. For the infrastructure we have, we need to restrict the number of vehicles. I have noticed that many people drive in a reckless manner and lack courtesy. This often leads to accidents. Another factor which I believe causes accidents is traffic jams. We have a tendency to become restless and stressed out when there are long waits on the road, and these situations this often lead in road rage,” he says.

According to him, the authorities should make it more difficult to get a driving license and once obtained, drivers should be given a probation period of a few years before getting a permanent one. “Drunk driving should be more strictly regulated by setting up permanent test centres in some locations. The authorities need to run continuous campaigns to show how drink driving can be dangerous, especially among young drivers. Drivers involved in hit and run cases should face more serious penalties like jail and permanent cancellation of their license if found guilty,” he adds.

  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8040","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-14093 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"295","height":"300","alt":"young pro pawan"}}]]Pawan Kumar Ancharaz: “Conviction is the solution”

Director of his own company and electromechanical engineer, 28-year old Pawan Kumar Ancharaz says that accidents occur mostly because of human mistakes, mechanical reasons or inadequate infrastructure. “Human mistakes can be either the carelessness of the driver or of the pedestrian, cyclist, drink driving, using mobile phone, eating or being under medication (such as painkillers). Lately a person was killed because a driver fell asleep at the wheel,” he says. For him drunk drivers are not drivers, they are potential criminals and the laws and legal bodies have been doing a great job during the festive periods, but alas, they cannot be everywhere. “For hit and run, I do no understand why the driver does not stop and help the person, which may save a life. Leaving a person to die when you could have helped is a serious humanitarian crime and if found guilty should be convicted,” he states.

  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8041","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-14095 alignright","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"153","height":"230","alt":"young pro shilpa"}}]]Shilpa Shia Pudaruth“Permanent seizing of the driving license”

24-year old Shilpa is a designer and she argues that drivers today drive carelessly. “Many drivers drive fast and do not follow instructions. One of the most severe sanctions is permanent seizing of the driving license. This will create a kind of apprehension among drivers. For a lot of people, driving is their main source of livelihood, so they will be more careful. Another sanction is to increase the amount of fine. Rs 2000-Rs3000 is easily affordable for some. So, it is better to increase it so that it becomes unaffordable.

      [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8042","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-14094 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"233","height":"268","alt":"young pro divesh"}}]]Divesh Newoor: “Loss is not replaceable”

Divesh Newoor has been alarmed by the increasing number of road accidents on our roads lately. “Accidents result in damage, injury, blood, destruction, death, tragedy, loss, pain, tears and depression. Life has become too hectic. The increasing number of vehicles on our roads somehow lead to higher number of road accidents. Additionally, not enough attention is being given to drivers. They have a somewhat ‘care-free’ approach towards the road and its users as our law regarding drivers is not too rigid. An accident-perpetrator pays fine and gets a bail quickly. However, the victim and his or her family will have to bear the burden of loss forever. The loss is not replaceable,” he shares.

  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8043","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-14096 alignright","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"195","height":"273","alt":"young pro pravesh"}}]]Pravesh Om Ramful: “Life-long suspension of license”

Pravesh, who works in the risk department at Standard Chartered Bank, argues that a different approach must be adopted for the increasing number of accidents. “We have witnessed that during festive periods, people tend to drink and drive. As such, it is not always easy to keep track of all of them. So, it is better to come forward with precautionary measures, for example, a warning that people caught driving drunk during festive period starting from 15 December to 30th January will have their license suspended for life,” he states. Pravesh believes that if a person is caught drunk in an accident, that person needs to compensate the injurious person directly or his/her family. “Each driver needs to assume his/her responsibility. All sanctions should be really severe in all cases,” he explains.

  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"8044","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-medium wp-image-14097 alignright","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"266","height":"300","alt":"young pro harvind"}}]]Harvind Jeeool: “Whole traffic system needs to be scrutinized”

28-year old Harvind is an Engineer and believes that road accidents are not rare. In fact, they are daily news items. “The main question is why are there so many accidents despite the fact that preventive measures have been taken by the authorities. A driver must also hold a valid driving license. However, some of them drive in a way that falls far below of what is expected of a competent and careful driver. According to statistics, dangerous driving is one of the main factors causing death. Intoxication definitely influences the performance of a person to drive safely. Furthermore, the whole traffic system needs to be deeply scrutinized,” he confides.

He further explains: “The importance of having a valid fitness certificate together with a verification checklist, proper training of drivers, traffic signs at appropriate places and so on, are elements that need to be considered with care to curb the alarming high rate of road accidents. In addition, a massive sensitisation campaign should be done at every level such as public sector, private sector, individuals and so on. For instance, owners of a two-wheeler should compulsorily wear high visibility clothing. In fact, we need to change our mindset in terms of how attentive we should be while driving. Generally, law is concerned with rules governing the lives and activities of people in society. Sanctions are already here for offences, such as for hit and run cases or cases like a driver being under the influence of intoxication or drugs.”

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