INCREASING CASES OF ROAD RAGE IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

India is ranked second in the world in terms of road links. But on the same, the pace of road mishaps, road accidents, and road injury in India is one of the greatest in the world. Aggressive and negligent driving has been a big issue on our streets for some time, and it appears to just be deteriorating and getting worse. With an ever-increasing number of young people getting in the driver’s seat, most mishaps and accidents are caused because of an ineffective and reckless driving pattern. Sensation chasing, driving in anger, retaliation, weariness, and stress are some of the components which contribute to perilous driving and people get into circumstances that can be effortlessly and easily avoided. Many lives have been lost as a result of growing intolerance among road users, and this unwelcome hatred that people carry on the road is unquestionably a dreadful flaw that leads to untimely deaths in great numbers. Incidents of shouting, yelling, rude behaviour, and even violence are accounted for often on our roads to where it has procured its name: road rage. The instances of road rage are on the rise and the numbers are increasing every year.

MEANING OF ROAD RAGE

Road rage can be defined as forceful or irate conduct or behaviour showed by drivers. These practices incorporate impolite and verbal put-downs, actual dangers, or risky driving techniques designated toward another driver or non-drivers with an end goal to scare, terrify or release irritation and dissatisfaction. Such behaviour patterns can prompt quarrels can cause harm to property and person, whose outcome can result in serious physical and mental injuries or even death or demise.[1] In a simple sense, road rage is sudden violence or anger arouse in the driver while driving due to irritation and frustration.  When a driver enacts or commits some moving traffic offences to jeopardize the life of different people or property or attack with an engine vehicle or other risky weapon by the driver of one engine vehicle on the other driver of another engine vehicle can be termed as road rage. Road rage is characterized as the result of forceful and aggressive driving that emerges from conflicts with different drivers. Road rage is a criminal accusation in which the driver is at the fault. Road rage is an extraordinary sight and it normally brings about a great deal of enmity and sometimes results in mishaps and wounds. 

STATISTICS ON ROAD RAGE

According to the 2015 data[2], reported by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are the main five states in India that account for the highest number of road rage cases. The cases f rod range and rash driving in the nation added up to 4,51,069, which implies very nearly 33 individuals out of each 1,00,000 have lost their live-in road accidents.

The data revealed that such occurrences have gone up by 10% contrasted with 2014.  Kerala reported cases near to 1,31,000 in 2015, Tamil Nadu enlisted 54,253 cases, trailed by Madhya Pradesh with 41,529, and Karnataka with 34,201. In the interim, Maharashtra saw 31,161 instances of injury caused because of road rage. According to the information delivered by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways this year, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka additionally recorded the most elevated number of road rage in the country that seems to in the upcoming years.

SOME ROAD RAGE VIOLENCE PROVOKING BEHAVIOUR [3]

  • Belligerent speed increase or speeding and discouraging or obstructing other passengers
  • Aggressive surpassing and closely following the other drivers
  • Hindering admittance to a roadway by forming a group
  • The persistent blaring of horns or unnecessarily blazing lights to disturb others
  • Making hostile and offensive motions to other people and using abusive words
  • Purposely hitting or hurting another suburbanite, traveller, or vehicle with one’s vehicle or with a weapon
  • Hindering the traffic
  • Threatening people to injure or kill and causing severe injury or death

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO ROAD RAGE

Hefty traffic, sitting at stoplights, searching for a parking spot, or in any event, hanging tight for travellers can build a driver’s displeasure level. Even no one appreciates sitting in traffic for long hours, however, some anxious drivers get disappointed speedier and even a slight disruption makes them angry and liable for road rage.

Many drivers consider roads as much like the internet where they can interact with different drivers whom they will never see again. This attitude encourages them to take part in more risky driving behaviours such as cutting off, honking, gesturing, etc.

Impatient drivers contribute much to road rage. Running late for a meeting or some important work makes drivers impatient that leads to reckless driving and road rage.  People often drive while taking on-call or texting which leads to distracted driving as a result of which people drive erratically which would result in irresponsible drivers.

CASE LAWS[4]

In this given case, it was alleged that the petitioner had intentionally hit on the Inova car belonging to the high court officials parked at the side of National Highway with his truck. As indicated, the driver of the car had left the vehicle and had gone to the close by the shop to buy a bottle of water. The applicant arrived at the spot in his vehicle at that time and on seeing that car is blocking the way to his shop, requested to move the vehicle right away. The driver of the car responded that he will move the car after purchasing the bottle of water. The petitioner got provoked by the answer and straight away pummelled his truck against the vehicle, yelling out that nobody needs be under the feeling that the board with High Court written in red letters, gives him the option to do any misconduct.

The court in its jurisdiction remarked that there are increasing instances of violence, assault, and road rage in the country. Although Motor Vehicles Act provides many sections dealing with road injury and rash driving cases there is no particular section in the act that deals with road rage. No penal statutes have defined or made the offence of road rage the punishable offence. Adding to this the court asked the accused to pay some particular amount as a result of damages and granted bail to the accused by stating that there is no reason will be served by proceeding with his imprisonment.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

  • Road rage should be defined under Motor Vehicles Act and statutes. Provisions should be made to make road range a punishable offence. The police should increase monitoring at significant areas and install CCTV cameras with sound on each street.
  • Substantial fines ought to be forced on individuals and strict actions should be taken against them.   The police should keep a regular check on inebriated and drunken driving. The people should introduce a road rage prevention curriculum in schools and colleges.
  • Teenagers under the age of 18 should not be given vehicles by their parents as most teenagers are suspects of road rage. Heavy penalties and strict actions should be taken against those who drive under the age.
  • There ought to be substantial punishment if anyone abuses street rules, bounces traffic signals, or rides without a helmet. There should be boards to screen traffic regulations and road rage incidents.[5]

CONCLUSION

Road rage is the thing to get done. Road rage danger has flourished in our general public. It is time that we should come up and together find the solution for this uncontrolled behaviour.  Indeed, even in the city where traffic rules are supposed to be consecrated, public fights over stopping or surpassing are just expanding. Restlessness, hatred, outrage, sense of self, and irritability are prompting such circumstances. Existing law is fine, yet authorization is awful. There is a supreme requirement for severe rule and regulations and its compliance large number of road rage cases are increasing day by day in the country. There is a need to comprehend that we have not bounced making progress toward entering a race or overwhelm others but have to go through it.

Author(s) Name: Kanchi Agrawal (Bennett University, Greater Noida)

References:

[1]‘Causes of Road Rage and How to Handle It’,     (topdriver, 27 October 2020) , < https://www.topdriver.com/education-blog/causes-of-road-rage/ > accessed 23 August 2021

[2] Takshak Dawda, ‘ Road Rage on the rise in India’ , (autocarindia, 5 September 2016)    < https://www.autocarindia.com/car-news/road-rage-on-the-rise-in-india-402893 > accessed 13 August 2021

[3] ‘Road Rage in India ‘, <  https://www.bankbazaar.com/insurance/motor-insurance-guide/road-rage-in-india.html> accessed 13 August 2021

[4]Chetan Nagpal , ‘HC: Road Rage as an offense should engage the attention of the lawmakers’, (latestlaw, 28 March 2021) <  https://www.latestlaws.com/latest-news/hc-road-rage-as-an-offense-should-engage-the-attention-of-the-lawmakers-read-order/ > accessed 13 August 2021

[5] ‘Don’t let road rage get to you’, (tribuneindia, 8 July 2019) < https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/chandigarh/don-t-let-road-rage-get-to-you-798740 > accessed 13 August 2021

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