oppn parties Speeding Limousines: Thrill That Kills

News Snippets

  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
  • Masks made compulsory in Mumbai, violators will be arrested
  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: 773 new cases and 32 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports the health ministry
oppn parties
Speeding Limousines: Thrill That Kills

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-04-07 23:49:04

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Two news items, separated by a day, caught the eye because both involved road accidents by speeding limousines – one by a Volkswagen and another by a Mercedes, one in Delhi and the other near Mumbai. In both accidents, people were killed. In Mumbai, a six year old and his grandfather were mowed down while in Delhi a 33 year old man was flung nearly 15 feet in the air before landing to his death. In a similar accident in January in Kolkata, an Air Force corporal on Republic Day parade rehearsal duty was killed by a speeding Audi being driven by the son of a ‘leader’ of the ruling party in Bengal. Salman Khan’s case is still fresh in public memory.

What is it between limousines and road accidents? Is it because the rich, spoilt and often under-aged brat driving the car is drunk on alcohol, high on drugs or drunk on the invisible but omnipotent power of his daddy’s wealth and connections? Or is it because the driver is unable to drive the high power car within speed limits? Or is it because it is in their DNA to break rules? Invariably, they turn to their loyal chauffeurs to get them out of the mess. Sometimes they succeed in convincing the poor man with a fortune. When they are unable to do so, they bribe the police to weaken the case or hire hot shot lawyers to pick holes in the case and get them acquitted. Rarely are they handed out exemplary punishment.

The connection between speed and accidents that kill is well established. A study had shown that cars driving at about 40 kmph have just 10% chance of killing someone in an accident while those driving at 90 kmph will kill someone they hit 90 times out of 100. It is not without reason that speed limits are set in most areas. But the thrill of driving at a speed of over 100 kmph is facilitated by powerful cars and availed by those who have no concern for both their own and others’ safety. So should we ban these monster limousines? That would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Why spoil the party for those who have the moolah to invest in such status symbols?

We need to think out of the box. If any one of a family is suspected to be involved in a speeding and killing case, in addition to the punishment handed out in court or even if the person walks free, the whole family should be prevented from owning or driving cars above certain horse power. The fear of losing the pleasure of owning status symbols will automatically restrain the pressure of the foot on the accelerator. Parents will think thrice before giving keys of such cars to brats. One knows that this is too radical an idea to be implemented, but is there a law against wishful thinking?