Goa is celebrating its 25th Road Safety Week and our dear biker friend Yadnesh has some tips to share with fellow riders.
Road safety week is celebrated by organizing variety of programmes related to the road safety. These events or activities are generally planned around driving / riding vehicles at lower speeds, pedestrian safety at crossings, wearing helmets, so on and so forth. I would like elaborate on a few aspects of road safety from a biker’s perspective.
To start off let me categorize the various safety aspects, viz. Safety on highways/express ways, safety on city roads, safety during touring and finally safety on ghat sections. Some aspects of safety might be common across these categories.
City Streets:- Cities in India are a hub of activities on off and on the streets. In some places the activities on the streets are much more than the ones off the streets. Add to this the lack of time on hand of most city dwellers and bad traffic sense on part of commuters and we know it’s a mess. How in such scenario do we define road safety? Avoid the traffic if possible is what elders say, but the very fact that you have traffic jams signifies that importance of that hour to the public. So rather than say avoid we’ll look at methods to handle the traffic hazard.
Safety first, ensure that you wear your minimal gear atleast. Even if the law gives you the leeway to flaunt your hairdo, I strongly recommend that you wear your helmet. Please buy a genuine brand even if you need to spend a few extra bucks and don’t forget the ISI mark. Your head and life is definitely worth much more. Furthermore a pair of gloves will do a lot of good. Since city riding involves slow speeds this much of gear should be enough.
I would also like to mention that in cities keep an open eye for moron. I mean literally morons. You never know from where such morons will suddenly appear in front, besides or behind you and knock you off. Better safe than sorry. BE ALERT !!!
Please do not carry excessive luggage on your two- wheeler and triple seat is a strict NO NO. Always give a side light indication well in advance to the turn so as to allow the vehicle behind you to slow down.
Village roads:- Here your main problem is a lack of road. Wherever you do see a road, it’s not well paved and tarmac is minimal. So be slow. Standing while riding on rough roads will save your back a lot of trouble. Animals may pop up from anywhere in villages and as of such be careful. Villagers are no less and one shouldn’t even think of talking sense into them when it comes to traffic rules. Being safe is your best bet. Steer clear of cattle, fowl or any other living being using the road.
Highway / Expressway:- Now this is where we cut loose. Open roads and sparse traffic (mostly) makes one feel free to vroom. That’s exactly why safety becomes of paramount importance. For most expressways we don’t have speed limits and wherever we do, the limit itself is pretty high. When travelling at high speeds, a simple falls can have devastating consequences. If you want to go fast, GEAR UP. Helmet and gloves of course, a proper armored riding jacket, knee guards and boots are essential.
Rules that need to be followed on highways: Give a side light indication when switching lanes. Remember to give this indication in advance to allow the vehicle around enough time to take note of it. Also keep an eye on the sidelights of vehicles ahead.
Highways in India generally have maintenance going on. Hence a lot of diversions are encountered. Slow your vehicle at such times. Lose gravel at diversions cause loss of traction.
If travelling at night, be prepared for high beam light flashing of vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. This can be a pain on curves and slopes. Also carry extra water along to wash off insects that smash onto the helmet visor lest visibility will get compromised upon.
Ghat Sections:- ALERT!!!!!! Ghats offer a lot of scope accidents. Smallest of mistakes can cost dearly to you and others. During day time avoid excessive speed. Some ghats don’t have side barriers hence adding to the problems. Travel gear is the same as highways.
For night travel use low beam as far as possible as it causes blinding to the vehicle travelling from opposite direction. Also be prepared for moron flashing high beam unnecessarily. Best way to tackle it is brake. A good rider doesn’t flaunt an ego so let the morons pass by and then resume travel.
Touring:- You will encounter each of the conditions mentioned above while touring. So please read above for all the safety measures. Besides carry a lot of water and essential salts. You need to be prepared for situation where you may be left stranded. A couple of snack items may also be carried.
I’m pretty much done with my sermon on road safety. Follows these rules over and above any other safety measure you use. Remember, the ones who don’t follow safety and rules are lesser beings and the best way to tackle them is avoiding them. So be sensible, ride smart and enjoy.
Article by : – Yadnesh Sanzgiry