Before the year is out, reports say that there is a hundred percent increase in accidents in Thimphu. There is no need to work out the statistics.
But what does this mean? Let’s leave out the blame game we always have the tendency to engage in when we can’t pin a fault to any one, most of all the defaulters themselves. When a young per son is found at fault without a license or is holding a new license, we always tend to have a view that damages the reputation of a third party. In this case the licensing authority.
When we take to the road as a new driver, we always tend to worried. At the back of the mind, we always have this thought that we don’t want to crash into another car or a road divider, or even a wall or a tree.
Why? Because we don’t want to incur additional expenditure as we haven’t even finished paying the installment on the car. Considering the high rate of interest on car loans, an average new owner/driver of cars wouldn’t really like to pay additional cost of damages and repairs.
So we point out without real understanding that it is that group of rich brats, partying late in the night who is the cause of all the accidents. Or it is some reckless drivers, who don’t care about others who did it. That may be so. And, yet it may not be so.
There was this sad story of a man who bought a vehicle at a cost of Nu. 450,000. He was just learning to drive when he drove into the office car park. Some time in the afternoon, when there was less work, he wanted to go out and practice his driving skill. That cost him about Nu. 20,000 when he grazed past another vehicle on the road.
That wasn’t the last time. Some where on his way to Paro, some one’s car came and hit his car. He didn’t have the proper license to drive on the highway, so he had to pay up for the damages. He said he was on the right side. But he was wrong – he was driving without a license.
That is a technical issue. Now, it doesn’t mean mechanical but legal technicality. Now technicality is something that is difficult to define. That is why we need lawyers. And more of them are needed as we bang each other’s cars, or socially and verbally abuse each other or encroach upon what each of us consider is our private preserve, and so on.
Having said all that, the question is who is at fault?
When something happens, yes we make it a point to find an escape goat. Recent reports say that the RSTA is not careful about issuing licenses to the applicants.
The allegations of underhand dealings had always been there. There is nothing new about it. Any one can complain. There have been reports that RSTA had given license to people without undergoing driving test, or even on payment of certain amount of fees. Allegations are just allegations. If they are proven, then such practices will no longer take place, besides the officials/staff who are engaged in such practice would be brought to justice.
The problem is the small society in Bhutan. The man who complains does know the person who indulges in such practices. But he won’t openly name him.
There have been a few occasions when persons have come to this newspaper, who told us these are the facts. You investigate but don’t quote us.
Now, who really wants to take up someone’s burden? Every one has enough problems.