oppn parties Speeding Limousines: Thrill That Kills

News Snippets

  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
  • Tipu Jayanti passes off peacefully in Karnataka
  • 10 dead as Cyclone Bulbul leaves destruction in its wake in West Bengal
  • Shefali Verma breaks Sachin's 30-year old record by scoring an international fifty at 15 years and 285 days
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan dies at 87
  • India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to win the 3rd T20 and clinch the series 2-1. Deepak Chahar becomes the first Indian to take a hat-trick in T20s and returns the best bowling figures of 6/7
  • Centre removes SPG cover of the Gandhis. However, they will still get Z-category security
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi will have a meeting with UP chief secretary and DGP of the state in his chamber ahead of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute next week
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oppn parties
Speeding Limousines: Thrill That Kills

By Sunil Garodia

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?