The death of a vivacious, young lady officer of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) on account of a road accident in the city on Monday calls for serious introspection. There is no speed monitoring system anywhere in the city. That the fatal accident occurred in the early morning hours when traffic is thin and roads are relatively free, means, that the Guwahati bound passenger vehicle Mahindra Maxx was speeding or had taken a wrong turn. It is common to see drivers with learners’ licenses driving in the morning hours. However, it is also a common sight to see young drivers some aged 13-14 years old driving around without anyone penalizing them. The Traffic Police is supposed to penalize such unauthorized drivers but because they don’t use the main roads, they manage to escape punishment. It is important for the Traffic Police to empower citizens to bring such incidents of driving by unauthorized persons to their notice, either by taking down the vehicle number of by bringing the offenders to the police station.
The brand new Shillong-Guwahati four-laned road and the Shillong bypass are turning to be death traps. Vehicles tend to accelerate and pick up speed on these highways. Since there are no speed detectors along the entire length of the highways, the speeding vehicles get away, but not after creating havoc and putting the lives of other responsible drivers at risk. It has been noticed that the Tata Sumo passenger vehicles which almost always carry more than the capacity allowed are also the most recklessly driven ones. While traffic in Shillong city is heavy for the most part of the day and this deters speeding, it is in the evening and early morning hours that utmost vigilance is necessary. It is time for Meghalaya’s Traffic Police to be stricter and to do a random check on driving licenses. Quite a number of drivers on the road today don’t have valid driving licenses. Many drivers have paid money to the officials of the District Transport Office to procure a license without going through the mandatory tests. This is blatant corruption and it cannot be allowed to persist as these incompetent drivers endanger the lives of many.