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Old 11th October 2010, 11:57   #1
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Default Handicapped vehicle takes a toss

This morning as I was driving to work, I saw a man tossed on the road from his handicapped-friendly scooter (the kind with two rear wheels). His scooter had gone under the rear wheels of a big truck and the right axle was crushed. The guy was bleeding from his cheek that had probably scratched the tarmac.
I would have driven on- another day, another accident- but then two things happened: the truck driver took off; and the handicapped scooterist ran after him on foot in a futile attempt to stop him. That riled me, and I pulled over.
By this time a number of people had wised up to what'd happened, and someone stopped the truck and got the driver and his companion back to the scene of the accident. We'd rallied round the scooterist and discovered that in addition to his physical handicap, he was also incapable of clear speech (we later discovered it was cerebral palsy).
Well, to cut a long story short, in the end we got the truck owner on the scene and he agreed to take care of the damage on the handicapped person's vehicle, even though there didn't appear to be any clear blame on either party (both were on their respective side of the road and though I was the closest to the scene, I didn't get a clear visual on the accident as it happened). But a few observations from this whole incident:
- The truck driver's first instinct was to flee. We found out that he wasn't even carrying a license. If it had happened at night, on a deserted stretch of road and had the injuries been more serious, shudder to think what might have happened to the poor scooterist. Why do truckers put themselves and others at risk by such behaviour?
- The scooterist himself was severely handicapped, barely able to function in the real world. Even though he was surrounded by friendly and sympathetic faces, he was unable to tell us his name for quite a while and only after some random number-calling from various cards and numbers we found in his pockets did we manage to contact an NGO lady who sent someone on the scene. With all due respect to the disabled, should such people be issued licenses and allowed to operate machinery that could seriously endanger themselves and others?
- We were lucky that another techie on his way to work and I were the first on the scene: at least we managed to secure some sort of justice for the victim. The attitude of a couple of others on the scene was: Oh this guy is apang, he must be at fault. Forget it. A couple of hyper-aggro bystanders menacingly started ganging up on me and my vehicle since they assumed I had hit him, before someone told them I was only helping. Why do we behave like this in mob situations?
- The police were conspicuous by their absence in all this. Nobody thought of calling them, and though it caused quite a scene at a busy spot on the highway bypass, there was no uniform on the site till we eventually dispersed. The NGO folks who took charge of the handicapped person didn't even consider the suggestion of calling the cops, though technically the other driver didn't have a license and couls be held accountable. The attitude was one of reconciliation, which on the whole is a win-win, but then: when is this attitude towards the authorities (and dare I say OF the authorities) going to change?

Does anyone have any other stories to share about a handicapped person being involved in an accident that didn't have such a happy ending?
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:38   #2
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It is common behavior of the lorry drivers that when they are involved in the accident they RUN just to avoid the mob
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:40   #3
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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Why do truckers put themselves and others at risk by such behaviour?
Well, don't you think every two-wheeler who're riding zig-zag is putting themselves & others on the road to risk? Why alone blame truckers with just this one incident?

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
With all due respect to the disabled, should such people be issued licenses and allowed to operate machinery that could seriously endanger themselves and others?
May be the guy was very much healthy before & had DL in the past. Due to some unforseen health issues he's physically challanged now.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Why do we behave like this in mob situations?
Being a techie, why didn't you think of calling an ambulance? Behaving like an angry mob is left to all those unemployed people who occupy the empty tea shop benches all the day doing nothing & waiting to extort money.

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when is this attitude towards the authorities (and dare I say OF the authorities) going to change?
Forget cops, did anyone call ambulance? First aid?
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:46   #4
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With all due respect to the disabled, should such people be issued licenses and allowed to operate machinery that could seriously endanger themselves and others?
As long as such a person can see and hear properly and can properly control the vehicle using his working limbs, there is no reason for him to be deprived of pleasures of personal mode of transportation..specially in a nation where the public transport system is not handicap friendly.

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Old 11th October 2010, 13:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
With all due respect to the disabled, should such people be issued licenses and allowed to operate machinery that could seriously endanger themselves and others?
On a lighter note, haven't we seen careless blind people who can see the road? (jaywalkers)
Deaf & dumb people who can actually talk & hear through mobile phones when riding/driving?
Color blinded people who cannot differentiate between RED & GREEN color of the traffic signal & correctly misinterpret RED to be GREEN?
People who think their skulls are stronger than Arai/Shoei helmets?

As long as there're specially disabled on the roads, there's no point restricting the specially abled

Last edited by aargee : 11th October 2010 at 13:20.
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Old 11th October 2010, 14:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Well, don't you think every two-wheeler who're riding zig-zag is putting themselves & others on the road to risk? Why alone blame truckers with just this one incident?
Yes of course I do. But the two wheeler in this case wasn't driving zig zag. I don't have much sympathy, though, for truckers- if you do the Mumbai Pune expressway as often as I do, you'll know that most of the trucks on the road have no rear lights, they don't have indicators/brake lights, they break down regular as clockwork thanks to negligible maintenance on those 30-year old monsters, and the drivers have no sense of discipline- they often block the fast lane for miles especially in the ghat sections and sometimes touch crazy speeds in the flats that anyone looking on knows they cannot brake in time if something goes wrong. In this case, the guy knocks down a guy who is obviously handicapped and just speeds off without even trying to check if the guy is OK. I can't defend that.



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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
May be the guy was very much healthy before & had DL in the past. Due to some unforseen health issues he's physically challanged now.
Doesn't change the fact that anyone who is impaired to drive in any way should not by rights be issued a license. I don't mean ALL physically handicapped people, but this guy had some serious cognitive problems and should by rights not have been out driving (that's my opinion though).


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Being a techie, why didn't you think of calling an ambulance? Behaving like an angry mob is left to all those unemployed people who occupy the empty tea shop benches all the day doing nothing & waiting to extort money.
Thankfully he wasn't hurt badly and we managed with the first aid kit in my boot and some Soframycin some school kid was carrying. BTW you'll be surprised how "educated, employed" people behave in such situations. I almost got beaten up in a couple of situations in Bangalore just because my command over the local language wasn't as good as the other party's (though it was clearly their fault).

I don't there are any easy answers to the questions I posed. It's just fod for thought- there needs to be a framework in place to follow in case of an accident. Abroad, its usually, call the cops, exchange insurance details, or something simple. Here it is pretty much down to who gains the sympathy of the crowd faster, which is just ridiculous!
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Old 11th October 2010, 14:42   #7
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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I don't have much sympathy, though, for truckers- if you do the Mumbai Pune...cannot brake in time if something goes wrong.
Can't generalize @noopster & that's what I'm trying to say; come to Chennai & you can see the poor truckers who're carrying loads of tons & are being bulldozed by ordinary Govt busses who not only put the Govt property to risk, but also the 60-70 odd passengers (yes people hanging on foot board too) to risk. I've also seen some dirty truckers in 80 Kmph excessive speed & the private college busses - the worst of the lot.

My point is, this is yet another case in this entire country. Though I'm siding with no one here or anywhere, the regulations on roads have gone far beyond control in this country.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
In this case, the guy knocks down a guy who is obviously handicapped and just speeds off without even trying to check if the guy is OK. I can't defend that.
Trust me, if I were in the same situation, I would first assess the circumstances & then decided if I need to stay or fly. After reading so much of horrible experiences by our friends in this community, its more than dangerous to stay at the spot of accident because there're incidents where the victims first call out for people to thrash us rather than seeking help.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
but this guy had some serious cognitive problems and should by rights not have been out driving (that's my opinion though).
Well, may be, it could even be due to the shock of the accident or may have developed in recent times. Actually it shows the poor state of our country, nothing else. Unless we know that guy's background we can't comment much.

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I almost got beaten up in a couple of situations in Bangalore just because my command over the local language wasn't as good as the other party's (though it was clearly their fault).
See, you know better than I do; it either fly to police station or stand up there to get beaten!!!

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Abroad, its usually, call the cops, exchange insurance details, or something simple.
Well not necessarily, but mostly it is like what you said. In the absence of insurance or stolen vehicle one is bound to point the gun

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Here it is pretty much down to who gains the sympathy of the crowd faster, which is just ridiculous!
Exactly!!! This is the protocol followed.
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