13 July, 2024


The War On Terror On Our Roads – Who Will Declare It?

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Two-year-old Oshada Savindu Shasmika from Weligama was one of the latest victims of our killer roads. The fatal accident happened recently and continues to contribute in significant number to the unstoppable fatalities. It seems our roads have got used to devouring victims with aggressive and renewed rapacity. Gallons of dark, thick red blood have consistently meandered our well macadamized roads only to be washed away at the behest of officials representing the law enforcing agency and mother nature clearing it for us at no extra cost.

The nation may have lost a scientist; a daughter may have lost a father, parents a very precious child. These are human lives that are being snapped-up at regular intervals, they’re not mere numbers for the statistician to manipulate. They’re heartrending and distressing. Narratives that coalesce a strange malaise, intriguing a nation’s intelligentsia but strangely the administration remains oblivious and in deep slumber. The daily inflow of gory accident sites brought to our living rooms by courtesy of the local and social media has somewhat desensitised the psyche of the nation.

Man cannot prevent pre-destiny but is ably endowed to shun insanity. It’s high time some authoritative task force took a close look at the northbound statistics in traffic related fatalities in the country. The experts should be able to impute some sense to those many colorful charts that embellish walls of cabins occupied by traffic OICs in various police stations around the island. These charts ominously confront the public each time they visit them but the public has no clue why they remain there and any action taken thereof.

A-road-accidentShould the tragedy of this kid be just another entry in the police log book until another macabre site enters the public domain by way of a frantic 911 call from some distant village or town? It would contain horrific details of victims being painstakingly extricated from mangled wreckages, maybe with the assistance of an automatic saw and dispatched to a nearby hospital. The hospital in turn would pronounce a victim or two as deceased upon admission and would send the bodies to a morgue where loved ones would converge and inconsolably weep, wail and whine before eventually identifying the bodies and make preparations for final rites. Doesn’t this sound so atypical? An unmistakable sequence of events, so easy to write, so profoundly predictable.

No one is acting though endowed with good faculties. No one is listening yet they have good, sound ears. “They would not listen, they’re not listening still. Perhaps they never will” with apologies to Don Mclean. In the meanwhile our roads with its well seasoned and gluttonous appetite, roar with frightening frenzy and crave with insatiable desire for more. It’s as if watching a Hollywood blockbuster animation with its main character an outlandish and grotesque chimera fuming and raging, emitting tonnes of smoke, angry and voracious. It seems these hideous and ghastly creatures haunt our roads and highways with self-imposed authority, keenly and calculatingly watching to gobble the next victim.

In the absence of a well participated and a sound culture for safe driving characterised by poor implementation of traffic laws, inadequate funding, police apathy, corruption and other vagaries collectively ail proper administration of our road and vehicular traffic management system. Killer accidents are taking place without a cessation on our roads and rail tracks around the country. Its estimated that last year alone close to 2,413 people were killed in road accidents compared to 2,362 the previous year, with the number of fatal accidents rising. On average, six to seven people are killed daily on our roads.

A multitude of driving sins contributes to the exponentially rising accidents on our roads. Driver error or reaction by way of Illegal speeding, entering a bend too quickly, failing to look properly, loss of control, poor turn or manoeuvre, failing to judge other person’s path or speed, travelling too fast for the conditions, disobeying give-way or stop sign, careless, reckless, inexperienced, impairment or distraction, alcohol distraction in vehicle. Bus drivers and conductors use mobile phones to communicate about the presence of traffic police on the roads. They obey the rules in the area where policemen are present but violate them soon after they pass that area. All this happens because a culture of impunity exists and of course it’s deeply entrenched as well.

Sri Lanka must implement a graduated licensing like in the west with strict adherence to the law? This process should allow new drivers to earn full driving privileges in 2 stages. In the first stage, G1/M1(car or motorcycle) Level 1, drivers learn and practise under conditions that reduce the risk of collision. Once new drivers/riders have gained more experience, they must pass a road test to enter the second stage, G2/M2 Level 2, with more privileges. At the end of Level 2, a second road test must be passed to earn a full G or M driver’s licence. Graduated Licensing has helped to significantly reduce the number of collisions of novice drivers in North America. In Canada a comprehensive evaluation covering the first five years of the program showed that the fatal and injury collision risk of novice drivers was reduced by 37 per cent. Graduated Licensing is one way of reducing the risks new drivers’ face – a way to prevent collisions and save lives.

Four factors contribute to the vast majority of collisions.

  • Equipment Failure
  • Roadway Design
  • Poor Roadway Maintenance
  • Driver Behavior

Over 95% of motor vehicle accidents in the USA and in Europe involve some degree of driver behavior combined with one of the other three factors. Drivers always try to blame road conditions, equipment failure, or other drivers for those accidents. When the facts are truthfully presented, however, the behavior of the implicated driver is usually the primary cause. Most are caused by excessive speed or aggressive driver behavior. Its high time something was done to save innocent lives.

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Latest comments

  • 8

    Sri Lankan roads mean Derby chaos!
    All the hell broke in the house, Office and work place unleash in our roads. It’s terrifying to see the faces of the drives and they are always clicking ‘Time Bombs’ ready explode with slightest spark!!!

    Bus drivers, police patrol, Military personnel or MSD just cheer mad men behind the wheels and road rules means just another damn joke for them.

    I have never seen nod to mean ‘thank you’ or a pleasant smile from a fellow driver when drive through given and female drivers are no good for their male counterpart.
    Pedestrians are just treated like a grazing cattle and their right to cross the road grossly harassed by the speeding vehicle. Many drivers thing Zebra crossing mean just another artwork on the road!!!!

    What a shame for reckless, hooting drivers!!

    • 1

      If EU countries hold laws against violent drivers that strict, why cant our people ? At least one mechanism should be strickly held to protect its people. Only hard and rigorous laws could guide the war torn nation turning them returning to right modes. If I WOULD DRIVE SO VIOLENTLY IN GERMAN HIGHWAYS – the consequence woudl be to lose my DRIVING LICENECE or get marked points limiting warning me not go repeating the mistakes again. This is in addition to the sums I HAVE TO PAY AS FINES. I believe, hards laws held in Germany, France, Swtizerland, I have no doubt also in the UK keep control the misbehaviours on the high ways. Every time back in home country, I raise the question why the people with higher literacy cant be guided properly ? Not only road accidents but also cyber abuses etc can also be kept under control if they have proper mechanisms being placeed without delay. Not only free WIFI zones, in the same time they should introduce to control cyber crimes can save the nation. Oour people should be trained for better system teaching them thinking before doing anything should be learnt from CHILDHOOD on.

  • 4

    I have been to many countries, and I have never seen bad driving any where as in Sri Lanka. Watching this video caught by cctv, makes me worried to travel in vehicles when I come for holidays. Why dont the government bring stiff law and put these recless drivers in jail for long periods, whether they come from ordinary familes or high class familes, the law should be the same for every one. Until the government do some thing there will be more deaths on roads in S/L.

  • 4

    Reckless driving is the main reason, still the govt not using its media to educate drivers & discipline them, always on political shows without respecting public need of the hour.

    • 5

      bring your women back from medieval middle east and make them cabbies-
      they are the safest bet even in fast driving west.

      women driving men sleeping.
      i love this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsusIZkjIgE

  • 3

    Too many vehicles

    Narrow roads


  • 5

    What party in government would have the courage to stop the lunacy of five including babies on one motorcycle?
    What government will check bank accounts of driving test examiners?

    • 3


      A copy cat of their former masters Portugal but Lankan men are chicken.
      so they the best deal given by the script writing helpless women of Lanka.
      Rustic Pick Pocket Government.- always world womans first PM, President soup.

      Professor Politician, dictator fascist António de Oliveira Salazar
      His Council of Ministers briefly served as acting President of the Republic in 1951; he was never President of the Republic, but was the virtual dictator of the country in the manner of Spain’s Francisco Franco and Italy’s Benito Mussolini. He founded and led the Estado Novo (New State), the authoritarian, right-wing government[a] that presided over and controlled Portugal from 1932 to 1974. In 1940, Life called Salazar “the greatest Portuguese since Prince Henry the Navigator” [2] and Oxford University conferred him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law.[3][4]
      Lankan support has come from Italian in India, Italian and Portuguese mimics like Fonny the war criminal and water buffaloes.

  • 0

    we cannot say that there are too many vehicles on the road as there are many other countries with the same or eve nmore vehicles yet with fewer accidents

    the main reason is that we dont obey rules and the law is not enforced by the police at all times (eg:earlier there was a rule that all buses should close their doors but was implemented only for a short time

    i) law needs to be implemented by cops

    ii) road rule should be taught from lower school

    iii)road safety awareness campaigns implemented

    iv) vehicles should not be on open papers and those who dont register should be be penalised heavily

    v)Police given a free had to prosecute

    vi)name and shame politicos vehicles who speed and cause havoc

  • 2

    Introduce a points scheme for drivers.

  • 2

    We urgently need a complete overhaul of our Driving Test:
    1) Firstly, drivers need to pass a written test on the Highway Code i.e. Road Regulations:

  • 5

    We need a complete overhaul of the Driving Test and the annual Motor Vehicle Test. The ones that need attention soon are:
    1) Firstly, Drivers have to pass a test on the Highway Code i.e. Road Rules:
    a) When approaching a roundabout, the vehicles coming from the right have right of way.
    b) Ovetaking, when allowed should always be from the right of vehicle.
    c) All crossroads should be controlled with traffic lights or the sub-ordinate road/s marked with the Hazard Sign of Stop and Give Way.
    d) The correlation of speed of vehicle following to the distance from the vehicle in front should be tested.
    e) No reversing onto the main road.
    f) When turning right, you should be on the right lane, i.e. close to the middle, and vehicles approaching from the opposite have right of way.
    g) When turning left, you should be on the lane close to the kerb.
    2) Second, the Driving Test should be on the road on a vehicle that has passed the Vehicle Test. The driver should be examined on:
    a) Appropriate speed to the existing conditions on the road.
    b) Parking between parked vehicles.
    c) Reversing from a main road onto a side road.
    d) Emergency stopping without skidding.
    e) Road courtesy i.e. giving way to other road users.
    3) Finally, the Annual Vehicle Test should include checking the extent of rust on the chassis, condition of the windscreen and the rear view mirrors and the seat belts.

    Drivers of trucks, motor cycles and passenger carrying vehicles must have different tests as required.

    All learner drivers must display an “L” plate on the vehicle and must be accompanied by a qualified driver.

    For the first 12 months after passing the test, the driver must display a “P” plate on the vehicle.

    The Traffic Police must be empowered to remove unroadworthy vehicles off the road and also re-examine suspected vehicles that have been passed and the examiner questioned. Similarly, drivers who have passed the test but suspected of erratic driving and ignorant of the road rules should be made to re-take the test and the examiner who passed him/her should be questioned.

    • 4

      What do muslin women do at saudi and lanka do – [Edited out]

      All surveys in Europe prove that women are the safest hands at the wheels- laws for test or not.

  • 3

    “”The War On Terror On Our Roads – Who Will Declare It?””

    even in the Uk the Law is an Ass.

    an Iraqi refugee who applied for stay on compassion ran over a little white english girl of 4- 6 while she was playing in her homes front lawn and killed her.

    The Iraqi had no licence and was warned not to drive because he was rash like riding a camel.
    The proceutor said the driver had not assimalated into society. Well he never give up his faith so he had married another muslim in the UK and had a child making him eligible for stay.
    The judge ruled in his favor and released him saying it was an accident and he had spent 3 months in jail.
    English Law can be Lunatic too.

    • 4

      Asylum seeker who left girl, 12, to die after hit-and-run can stay in UK… thanks to the Human Rights Act David Cameron promised her father he’d scrap

      Father says ‘criminals have free rein’ after losing battle to deport driver
      Failed asylum seeker Aso Mohammed Ibrahim had a string of convictions
      Outcome ‘may have been different’ if Iraqi didn’t have children, judges say
      David Cameron was accused last night of breaking a personal pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act after a failed asylum seeker who killed a 12-year-old girl used the discredited law to stay in Britain.
      Aso Mohammed Ibrahim knocked down Amy Houston and left her to ‘die like a dog’ under the wheels of his car. He was driving while disqualified and after the little girl’s death he committed a string of further offences.
      Earlier this year Mr Cameron wrote to Amy’s father promising reforms that would ensure ‘that rights are better balanced against responsibilities’.
      He said the Human Rights Act would be replaced by a British Bill of Rights.
      But yesterday Ibrahim, an Iraqi Kurd, won his lengthy fight to stay in Britain.


  • 2

    Totally agree with the author that it is high time things have to change.

    Just a question, can any one tell me how many Sri Lankans have got their driving license without bribing (or going through a driving school which does it at wholesale rate)?

    Some years back, on the day I did driving test at Werahera, I witnessed a male driving instructor from a driving school in Mt. Lavinia was driving during the drive test instead of a female applicant who did not know anything about driving, and still got through to get the license just with Rs. 5000 bribe. I was sitting inside the same van waiting for my turn.

  • 4

    It’s time a poor foolish graft nation went for bicycles like in China- they are a power like the farmer even with so many cars.

    In the UK the cyclist lose their arms regularly even with the cycle roads so the cyclist use by roads and knock the local folk off the streets of London.

    Diversity does not work in the UK because it is a soup which the English Love.

    In the Netherlands the cycle freaks of Europe they are creative and can run diversity so well because they are very broad minded and always try intelligently. But cannot handle the Immigration diversity imposed on them by the Anglo-American war mongers running the EU and Human rights law not the common market that all Europeans wanted because of exchange loss of 22 % to private banks(almost all banks of Europe are private) when work is across borders and life on the other side of the border.

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