Thiruvananthapuram: The disturbing trend of Thiruvananthapuram topping the nation in road rage cases surpassing the national capital has been portrayed as an example of better law enforcement system that books the offenders. However, experts say that the competitive mindset combined with congestion and poor mental health is taking a toll on the state. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, the state capital reported 12, 440 road rage cases in 2015 whereas Delhi stood in the fourth place with 7,400 cases.
Thrissur and Kochi recorded 10, 502 and 8,068 cases respectively. “Malayalis overtake not because they are in any emergency but to satisfy their ego. After overtaking, they slow down and drive at normal speed. Also irritation caused by family and professional issues are expressed by honking incessantly,” said Mr Upendra Narayan, traffic safety expert. The murder of Paul Muthoot in Alappuzha a few years ago has been considered as a landmark road rage case which came at a time when road rage cases were soaring in the state.
Recently, an advocate was bashed up by three women in a road rage incident at Kathrikadavu, Kochi. Earlier this week also, a man was hacked by bikers in a road accident case triggered by incessant honking by the driver. Experts say that all of these incidents would have been avoided if traffic safety and culture had been part of curriculum. “The basis to avoid road rage is to drive with a smile. Drivers should be thankful to the times they live in as most of us have better vehicles and decent roads. We should enjoy driving and cut ourselves of competition while following basic traffic discipline,” Mr Narayanan said.