oppn parties Speeding Limousines: Thrill That Kills

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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?