Road Manners and Industrial
The political writer (ISLAND) has gone bonkers about the transport strike issue.
This country has the WORST drivers, even worse than India.
India at least have broader or wide roads.
In this country especially in the upcountry roads are so narrow at some points and side rods follow (mind you there were 100 rivers in this country now only about 80) by the side of the dried up streams (most on either side of the large rivers) and they join in in awkward angles to the "supposed" to be main but narrow roads.
This country has very high road accidents and mortality is also high.
I can remember 15 years ago, we had an international conference on Sri-Lankan Research and a long discussion afterwards.
Young Medical guy came to me and wanted an idea for a research project.
I suggested he goes to Kandy Hospital and tabulate all the accidents and fatalities as the preliminary work (get the JMO to help him) and present it a year later.
He did a good job and presented his findings.
I have not seen anybody follows up his work not even the police.
We don't care.
Not only drivers even the passengers are arrogant, I can remembers a huge guy in trousers sat next to me (near the window side) and he opened his (Buru Anda I call it in Sinhala) his legs wide and I blasted him (knowing he was not from Kandy) telling him he does not know how to sit in a public bus without discomforting the fellow traveller.
I finished please do not back to Kandy.
The same incident happned last Friday, this time the guy was wearing national dress (I feared he was DRUG Mudalali who has come to worship Dalada Maligawa) and I decided to stomach the discomfort with Metta Meditation.
Knowing very well this guy was a burden on mother earth and trying to correct him is humanly impossible.
With 35 years of WAR we have lost sense and responsibility, I wish I should not be born again in this beautiful country even as an Elephant.
Coming back to road manners and the predicament of the fellow travellers, we have too many vehicles (it used to be one dog for seven people, now one vehicle for every 5) on the road.
They buy the vehicles paying a small deposit and and lease the balance payment and transfer the lease in an ad hoc manner.
Only Ceylon has this arrangement I believe and leasing companies make a huge profit (I believe that should be done with it sooner than later)
We have to have legislation to the effect at least 70% of the total cost should be paid on purchase for private vehicles and leasing should be reduced to 30%.
For public transport it should be 50% of the total cost.
Then few people will own a vehicle including a three wheeler.
The buses should have a standard seat arrangement with seats for two on either side and enough room for standing passengers.
For a seat the charge should be twice the standing, so that more passengers can be carried on a single trip at least in cities.
The "three seater" is a massive inconvenience for one who is in the middle.
For the fine I do not mind even Rs. 50,000/= and if one cannot pay, cancel the licence for five years, especially if the driver is under 30 years.
The licence should be issued temporarily at 18 years and should have three years of no offences for it to be upgraded for a full licence.
For public vehicles it should be a minimum of five years (23 years) with no offences, before applying for a heavy vehicle. licence.
These are my wishful thinking and nothing will materialize but many more will die on the road,before I kick the bucket for good.