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Bikers & statutory bodies like IRC and MORTH should take a note!
On April 28, one of my staff met with an accident while driving his bike and succumbed at the stop. The pedestrian whom he tried to save too also succumbed on April 29, 2014. The pedestrian's identity is not yet known.

My staff is survived by his pregnant wife and a little boy. His wife was not intimated about the passing away of his husband for more than 36 hours because the father-in-law of my staff advised us not to inform her till they reach Cuttack. (Although, she is aware of that her husband had met with an accident last night!)

I couldn’t imagine the condition of that lady. She knew that her husband is admitted in to a hospital because of an accident. But she is not taken to her husband in the hospital with so many excuses even after 36 hours. As a modern lady she must doubt on dangerous consequences, but still as a wife she would be hoping against hopes! No doubt, she will find it difficult to face the truth, which she didn’t want to come true!

With such feeling, I just recounted the accidents took the life of bikers. I find from my experience that in the stretch of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack (22 kms stretch although both cities are twin cities and share one boarder!) 90% fatal accidents happen to bikers! There are many reasons. Biker’s irresponsible driving, not using safety gears such as helmets, uncontrolled speeds, opting for short-cuts, young excitement etc are the main reason apart from some other reasons where bikers has no role at all!

Thus this is a piece of advice to bikers. The life is always pretty and very long! Don’t waste it just because of you are young, excited and enthusiastic. Being brave and fearless doesn’t mean to suicide. Just imagine the condition of the wife of my staff! None has the right to demolish the dreams of people who are connected with you socially, emotionally and friendly!

Thus all bikers must realize how they are valued to their near and dear ones! Their life is not their exclusive right! They must use all safety gears and follow safety norms as a duty because they are also belongs to somebody! Youthfulness, excitement, enthusiasm and may be over-confidence can kill a human and punish a generation. This fact can be realized if someone scrutinizes every fatal accident.

Coming back to my staff’s accident, Chandi was darling to everyone. He was an expert mechanical person who can operate any machinery available in India. He was fond of Motor cycle driving. On 28th April 2014, though he was scheduled to return from Manguli to Phul-Nakhara colony, he borrowed Pulser bike from his colleague only to drive up to Jagatpur (around 7 KM from Manguli) just for his passion. While driving the bike bit speedily, a pedestrian suddenly came in to the fore.

Chandi tried to save the pedestrian but finally crashed with metal crash barrier. The sharp edge of of metal crash barriers ripped through his neck and thighs but get spot death due to former. The pedestrian too after being hit by the bike rammed in to the metal crash barrier and succumbed to death around 12 hours after the accidents! Two lives just lost because of passion, speed and perhaps carelessness. At the same time two families are suffering a loss never expected.

While alerting bikers and young people. I also seek an re-evaluation of using metal crash barriers from IRC (Indian Road Congress) and MORTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highway). These metal crash barriers are no doubt being barrier in four-wheeler and more wheeler from crashing, but absolutely fatal for the bikers. This is not the only case!

I witnessed couple of cases where bikers generally opted to crash to MCB (Metal Crash Barriers) instead of head on collision with some unruly heavy vehicles. Unfortunately both the thin plates of post and railing works as a fatal weapon to rip though whoever dashed to it! In foreign countries it works because they have separate lane for bikers. Cyclists and pedestrians apart from four wheelers and more!

A concrete made no sharp edge barrier can help reducing fatal bike accidents. I am an engineer and believe in such logic. Will IRC and MORTH come out of their air-cooled conference room to recognize the reality of India? Sometimes realistic assessment, just judgment and timely action saves many lives. Will the bodies responsible for road and traffic think practically?

Whatever may be response of IRC and MORTH, I am to take up this matter to the chairman of Institution of Engineers (India) Mr Ashok Basa. He had given me the appointment and also expressed deep concern on technical matters of this issue.

However such efforts shouldn’t instill any over-confidence to the bikers. They must understand that they are first to suffer followed by their near and dears. For people victim of the case, it’s just open and shot case! You die and your family washed away! Just choose what you prefer? Is it your passion, excitement, enthusiasm or your safety, your family’s assurance and your existence? Choice is yours! After life, family and society is too yours!

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