Increased safety needed on our roads
Traffic accidents on our roads continue to increase. Reports of people driving under the influence of alcohol, underage driving, careless and reckless driving and grave or fatal accidents keep hitting the news.
Some people do not consider road safety as an essential aspect to worry about. However, this subject is too often on the news. Suffice it to refer to the incident where a policeman was run over in Ħal Luqa and dragged under the car for several metres by an unscrupulous youth as well as the incident of the young driver who recently ran over a group of foreigners and killed a youth in Sliema.
The egoistic, ‘me first’ attitude has become pervasive among drivers and has become the bane of public health in our country.
What are the main causes of road accidents? One can talk about reckless driving with excessive speed, distracted drivers, drunk drivers, use of mobiles while driving, aggressive driving, mechanical faults and road conditions.
The lack of experience and the issuing of licences to elderly people can also be a cause of some incidents on the road.
The increase in road accidents is also tied to a growing population and the increasing number of vehicles on our roads.
For accidents to be avoided, drivers need to be prudent and take care not to break driving regulations while ensuring that they drive safely.
On the other hand, the police have a main role to play in encouraging good driving habits. Education campaigns are not effective if they are not backed up by heavy fines for reckless driving.
Enforcement and discipline are crucial, if nothing else to clamp down on the impertinence of some drivers. If necessary their licenses should be withdrawn and they should only be given another opportunity to drive once they are re-educated on how to behave on the road and act like responsible citizens.