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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Negligent driving - height of it - without steering / with pliers....

City roads are killer roads in places, you can see a circled spot with words 304A – which indicate that some precious life had been lost in that place in a road accident…… ages back saw a cinema where the hero known for his display of emotions was a lorry driver; the way the actor turned the steering, moved his hands and clenched his teeth made me feel that driving a vehicle was so difficult that brute physical power in handling the wheel is necessary.

The Indian Penal Code:

Sec 279 Rash driving or riding on a public way. - Whoever drives any vehicle, or rides, on any public way in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Sec 304A - Causing death by negligence..--Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both..

It might appear that only a small proportion are sane…. as you drive in the metropolis – there are killer lorries [once water tankers were notorious]; transport corporation buses threaten you; it is so scary to see those buses of educational institutions and those transporting office goers……….then there are fantastic costly cars whose owners decide that they only are entitled to be on road and drive at breakneck speed – as you feel threatened of your existence, an autorickshaw cuts past from nowhere…… and then there are two-wheeler many do not look road-worthy but still transport sometimes a group of people……… there are also cycle rickshaws and the odd bullockcarts – with many cattle [cows / buffaloes / horses] roaming on the street not to speak of the population of stray dogs…. 

Why do people  drive so fast and negligently – is it sheer fun; is that because of the power of vehicles that thrusts the macho feeling… women on wheel is more dangerous…..

Vehicles are custom built with safety the foremost.  A  steering wheel as the one mentioned in the first para of this post is the steering control in vehicles ~ there is a similar one in ships and boats too.  The steering wheel is handled by the driver in navigating the vehicle and  the rest of the steering system responds to such driver inputs. This can be through direct mechanical contact as in recirculating ball or rack and pinion steering gears, without or with the assistance of hydraulic power steering, HPS, or as in some modern production cars with the assistance of computer controlled motors, known as Electric Power Steering.

Steering wheels for passenger automobiles are generally circular, and are mounted to the steering column by a hub connected to the outer ring of the steering wheel by one or more spokes. 

All equipments fail……. In two-wheelers you have the handle bar which in effect is the steering column… in motor cycles you have the clutch and accelerator operated by hand.  From the right hand side of the handle bar – the cable [which will have an outer and inner] gets connected to the carburettor – by opening the throttle, you allow flow of petrol – more combustion – more power and more speed……… in olden days in vehicles like Jawa/Yezdi, Rajdoot, the accelerator cable getting cut was common – if it were to be nearer the handle end – it was somewhat easy as those who are adept in driving would simple tie to the cross bar and press it with leg… not the right way but it will work still…….

There are naturally are shortcuts though on road it is no good – to circumvent a safety device could prove dangerous, yet people try their hand – but not to the extent of what this man in Australia did – driving without a steering wheel !! - using locking grip pliers clamped around the steering column shaft to navigate … in Adelaide, Australia, the Daily Mail reports.

The unnamed 38-year-old man's Monday morning commute was interrupted when police pulled him over for driving erratically with two flat tires, and they were surprised to find him holding the pliers instead of a wheel. He was arrested and charged with many offenses, including driving without a license in an unregistered vehicle, uninsured while under the influence of illegal drugs and more. Police also said they believe he was involved in a hit-and-run accident.  To the shock of Police, it was found that Pliers were clamped around the steering column and he was using them to steer the vehicle, turning the shaft with the pliers


A statement from South Australia Police said: 'While this is an extreme example, police wish to remind all motorists they have a responsibility to drive with due care at all times. Down under, 'Operation Distraction, a state-wide focus on driver behaviour, in particular the use of mobile phones while driving and failing to wear seatbelts, continues to run throughout the month of July and more than 1,700 offences have been detected.' The man appeared in court today and was remanded in custody.

Strange are the ways of people

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th July 2013.


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