EDITORIAL | High-beam headlights to road rage: Common sense comes last to Shillong drivers

A high beam is a type of headlight with a long-range focus, and automobile manufacturers usually equip most vehicles with both high beam and low beam headlights.
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EDITORIAL | High-beam headlights to road rage: Common sense comes last to Shillong drivers

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
 

There is nothing more irritating than a driver with no etiquette. Imagine working hard the entire day knowing that you’d eventually come across such people on your way home.
Crossing paths with a person using the high beam of his car is something that many people can relate to, especially here in Shillong city.

 

A high beam is a type of headlight with a long-range focus, and automobile manufacturers usually equip most vehicles with both high beam and low beam headlights.
 

The difference between low and high beam is that the low beam is used for normal night time driving, while the high beam is used in rural areas or small roads with very little or no light at all.
 

In most countries, including India, using the high beam is an offence punishable under the Motor Vehicles Act. 
 

Using high beam is prohibited in cities and well-lit roads, but since this traffic violation is difficult to monitor and because of a lack of awareness, police seldom penalise drivers who violate the rule.
 

Indeed, it is sad to see that some do not care about rules and safety, but in a country where the number of traffic violations in a day is near impossible to determine, what can one expect?
 

But for those willing to listen (or read), misusing the high beam of your vehicle can temporarily blind drivers and might cause them to swerve into traffic or right into you.
 

Light also reflects off of water particles, and using the high beam in poor weather (fog, rain) can make it harder to see in-coming traffic or pedestrians.
 

Since automobile manufacturers design the high beam to illuminate farther, it is easy for a driver to misjudge the distance in front of the vehicle, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
 

In a place like Shillong, the narrow jam-packed roads increase the chances of accidents. 
 

They say that the roads in Shillong are full of idiot drivers. And you can’t blame them. The problem is with the entire system. Most drivers did not go through the proper and mandated procedure of obtaining their driver’s licence. What role does the Motor Vehicle Inspector play? Money seems to rule the roost.
 

So, to change road traffic etiquette, we need to change the system first otherwise, there'd be no end to this idiotic and problematic behaviour.