Mary shouts to the kids: Hurry up, I am late for the
office…and she grabs the key, her bag, pushes the kids in the back seat and off
she goes, speeding up to make good for the time she has lost ….kids are
fighting in the back…her head is aching….why don’t the cars move on, everything
is against her this morning….she takes a chance to overtake and whoom.
Ali is on his way to the construction site, he takes
his mobile from his pocket to call his workers he has to pick up on the way, he
calls them one by one while he is driving with one hand….his eyes are not on
the cars in front of him….NO…he has to break abruptly….and the cars behind him
bump into him, three cars.
Ayshe is in love, she has spent the night with her
lover and had to leave him to go to the office. She checks her face in the
mirror, yes, one can see that she is happy…and she takes her mobile and makes a
‘Selfie’ to send to the beloved one left behind…..she has overseen the red
light…a car hits her at the driver’s side…. Is she dead?
The 15 years old son sits in his room gloomily,
impatient and unhappy, life is passing him by; his friends are meeting at a
certain place right now, and where is he? Parents are asleep. He takes the
chance, gets the car keys, and he feels like a hero, free at last to join
life….and he speeds off not caring with a thrill of anticipation …drives over a
ramp and loses control, the wheel is knocked out of his hands…and the car
overturns….Will he survive? Who is responsible?
Friends meet at the beach to celebrate a birthday;
they drink heavily from the beer they have brought with them, they are young
and they enjoy themselves, and as it gets cooler they decide to spend the rest
of the evening at a disco…..who is first….and
laughing and speeding up and overtaking each other not noticing that
there is a lonely figure on his bicycle, they knock him down, an innocent who
is dead instantly, the others badly injured.
A last scenario: Mustafa has found a job as lorry
driver, he is a good driver, and glad to have work again. He has loaded rocks
from the quarry on the other side of Beşparmak mountains, a little
overloaded….he takes the road down to the coast carefully….a sudden PENG, a
tyre had burst, he has problems to control the vehicle, comes onto the other
side, a car comes into view, he tries to steer into the ditch on his side….but
it is too late….he knocks the small car over with three people inside….all
dead. Is Mustafa guilty?
These scenarios show that these drivers causing
accidents and even death are no criminals but normal people like you and me;
they have forgotten to realize that their car is theoretically - and in their
case quite obviously - a deadly weapon. There are many similar situations into
which we as normal citizens can get without intending to harm anybody or
trespass the law. We often have so much on our mind and with a car, where more
or less everything is automatic, we drive along with an easy hand and mind. Our
car becomes a private space, substitute for home, where we can do what we want
and we behave in such a way, so we answer the mobile although we shouldn’t, we
throw a glance into the mirror if the lipstick is ok; we feel superior to the
others, my car is stronger, costs more money, I’ll show you what I can, I am in
a race car, going for world cup; or we feel unhappy and unfairly treated by the
partner in our life, by the boss, by life and think who cares….
Or….there are the innocent participants on the road as
the secondary actors drawn into a play they never wanted to take part in, and
often enough it ends with the main role as an injured person or with death. How
tragic. How can a person live with the knowledge of having caused the death of
The death of so many people on the roads of Cyprus has
hit us all and it is for the first time that there is some unrest among us and
the wish not to accept the situation any further. I mean, it is very good to
request more security on the roads, punishment, more policemen, better roads,
etc, but it is something else we need to learn from it, that is our attitude
towards ‘the lightness of being’, daily luxury that is taken for granted, the
responsibility we have given away to our administrative powers. The only measure there is to reduce accidents
on the road is education and self control, the sense to question ourselves…”am
I doing right?” and not “the others have to do something”
There is a quote I like by Bruno Bettelheim: ‘Punishment
may make us obey the orders we are given, but at best it will only teach
obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances our self-respect’.
Another thing I realised is that people have become
more introverted, egocentric through the use of electronic gadgets, television;
they have forgotten to observe the world outside their own vision. Things get
mixed up, what is reality for them? Wrong symbols. Does a bigger and faster car
make up for a better position in society? The only reason why people will one
day remember you with love is for the good deeds you have done and for the
respect you have shown them.
If my scenarios have not sufficed to shake you awake
then just enter ‘traffic accidents’ on your computer and ‘images’ and you will
find scenes that give you a proper shock.