There has been a lot of chit chat about the new Motor Vehicles Bill that got the nod in the Lok Sabha. How exactly will our lives change if the Bill becomes an Act?
The bill will be good, it will be great, it will not solve our problems, it is defective, we don’t need any more laws. God! I’m bored already with this new Motor Vehicles Bill that has just been passed in the Lok Sabha. Beyond the catchy headlines, here’s my take on the new bill.
First and foremost, I think that this bill has a lot of good in it. But, like all things government, leaves a lot of explaining to the imagination and interpretation of the implementing bodies.
Things like higher fines will lead to an increase in bribe rates for sure, I’ll give you that. But even so, fewer people will be willing to shell out that kind of cash. As a result, the overall fault rate will decrease over time. That’s what I think. But I also think we’re making too much out of too little at the moment. Let it all come into effect, and in six months to a year after that, one camp or the other will be screaming, “We told you so” anyway. So why fight now? Isn’t it better to set the ball rolling somewhere instead of debating it till kingdom come while nothing substantial changes?
On another note, I was going through one of my old articles on the California Superbike School lessons that we all swear by. I certainly do. One of the things they taught us till it almost became a mantra was 'Slow In, Fast Out'. So the basic principle is that it doesn’t matter what speed you enter a corner with, it’s how fast you get out of it that makes a difference to your laptime. I believe that applies to all sorts of riding situations, beyond the whole cornering shebang too.
If you’re going to be riding into a junction, for instance, get in cautiously having evaluated that you’re in the clear and it’s safe to go. Having entered that junction however, don’t slow down to check again. Get out the other end as soon as you can. Why? Because the longer you expose yourself to a junction the more at risk you are. It’s that simple.
This whole 'Slow In, Fast Out' business also leads to some amount of frustration on our roads. The thing is, most road users around me have the exact opposite approach. They seem to firmly believe in "Fast In, Slow Out." Just the other day, we were trying to get out of office and couldn’t! No one would leave enough of a gap to let us through. Obviously there was a huge traffic jam and even I wouldn’t want one more car or bike ahead of me but we had indicated that we simply wanted to get across and move in the opposite direction. But the others simply wouldn’t allow it. Each time the traffic crept a little ahead, the rest would all rush in, attempting to prevent us from wedging ourselves in the gap. They had nowhere to go but they didn’t want us to get going either. The end result was nearly eight minutes of waiting at the office gate itself.
Tell me what kind of Motor Vehicles Bill or Act do we need to change this? How much money can you fine a person before he decides to be rational? Should we even be having this conversation in a market that's already one of the world’s largest markets for all sorts of automotive things? If you ask me, I’d say the Bill is a start but eventually no amount of laws can make a difference to our lives. Only we can. Question is, where do we get started? Are we even willing to?