By Ahmet Abdulaziz……..
Frequently we come across the word, Traffic (Road) Sense. It generally refers to good judgement in avoiding trouble and accidents on the road. In other words we can relate to the social behaviour of a person when on the road in traffic. It does not cover only to those who drive, it is equally relevant to the pedestrians
But generally I find myself in a position when I think very differently. For me traffic is different and sense is different. One who has proper senses would be sensible when in traffic. One who is not sensible in traffic would not be sensible enough in other spheres of life. This is how I see it.
The other day I was passing through a lane. A car was parked facing me on the wrong side of the road, headlights on and engine running. The headlights were directly hitting my eyes. I stopped by the side of the car. The driver, sitting inside the car, was having a chat with a friend. I asked him if he would shut off his headlights or to at least turn the car headlights down. He listened, and restarted talking to his friend, as if he had not heard me at all. I repeated my request, to which his friend replied. “Get lost. Do not disturb us”.
What does it mean, lack of traffic sense or lack of senses at all. Both of them must have realised that keeping the headlights of the car on is not proper and correct. They must know that they are supposed to turn the headlights of the car off when parked on the other side of the road. But how could they do all this when they did not have proper senses.
Lately, I have noticed that the drivers have started keeping their headlights on when driving. This directly attacks the eyes of the driver of the car coming from the opposite direction. The other driver becomes almost blinded for a couple of seconds, until the other car passes by. Anything can happen during this span of a few seconds. Recently there was news with photos of an accident, mentioning that due to some unknown reason the driver had lost control of the steering wheel, but no-one ever thinks that he might have lost control when the headlights of an oncoming vehicle had blinded him for a few seconds.
Parking a car correctly is as important as driving the car on the road. But there are too many people with a driving licence who do not know how to park their car properly. I have delibrately used the word “do not know”, because I am sure that they do know, but prove by their actions that they infact do not do. Most of the time we all act like this. For example when we go to visit someone, we prefer to park our car in front of their door, by side of the road. The proper parking place may be 10 or 20 meters ahead of their door, but we insist on not parking there. We take for granted that the other passing vehicles would not mind our wrong parking, reducing the usable part of the road.
What would you name it? Lack of traffic sense or lack of sense?
I remember, when the new parking lot of the local Central Hospital of Lefkoşa was constructed, nobody was parking their cars there. The reason was not that they did not know of its existence. They did know, but they did not want to park their cars at a distance of 150 metres away, when they can squeeze it somewhere near to the main entrance of the Polyclinic, which created many problems for the incoming and outgoing patients. They all knew this, but stuck to their old practice .
The same lack of sense is evident in front of the gate for the emergency patients in the central hospital. No one is supposed to park in front of the gate, but even for a short period of a few minutes, they insist on parking there, only taking the vehicle away when the guard asks them not to park there.
The practice of parking the car at the reserved place for the ambulance is continuing. The most interesting point to note is that when someone mentions to them that they had parked their car at the reserved parking, they come up with hundreds of differing excuses. The majority of them usually immediately restart their car, reverse it back, and then again re-park at the same place, leaving a little more space for the ambulance, but their car is still inside the reserved area. Some argue that they would move their cars on the arrival of the ambulance. But why on earth do they not park their cars at the parking lot, which is not very far away? But they do not. Why? The answer to this query is not that they lack traffic sense. No, they in fact lack sense.
Everyone knows that using mobile phones while driving is illegal, but who cares. Some people do care, because they perhaps know that they must abide by the law. However, most of them create great problems for others while abiding the law according to their own understanding. Have you seen the car all of a sudden slowing down, and parking by the side of the road, with two of its wheels still on the road, and you skillfully manage to pass by without hitting it. Yes, the driver of the car wanted to use the mobile, so chose to park the car by side of the road. This is the self derived explanation of the relevant rule. One is not supposed to create problems for others while himself trying to abide by the rule. But people do.
I insist on saying that most of us do not have senses at all. We lack senses in all other fields of our lives, as we lack in traffic. This lack of senses on our part, disturb overall social and cultural behaviour. But we still call it lack of traffic sense. I do not call it traffic sense. It is lack of sense exhibited on the road.