Unsafe Road Shows

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The number of road accidents reported at the emergency wards of JNIMS and RIMS during the Yaoshang festival is simply alarming. Besides there are unreported accidents in which the victims met their end before even reaching the hospitals. During the five days of Yaoshang festival young boys with rising adrenalin level take the streets. They roam in large herd cruising every nook and corner of the town. This is not a recent occurrence. In fact it has become a rising trend. With the rising number of population, the density of two wheelers is on the rise particularly in the two Imphal districts. Imphal west has got the highest number of two wheelers from all other districts. This young boys on two wheelers are in a way fringe group of the localities in Imphal. They have crossed a certain age, a bit old to take part in the Yaoshang sports and quite young to shoulder the responsibility of organising sports in the locality. Naturally these age groups are passing through the stress and storms of adolescence. They are not easy to handle with. Parents find it hard to reason with them, more often with their demands. Out of sheer pressure parents succumb to their demand of buying two wheelers. Peers pressure is also an important factor that steers these young minds. On the one hand marketing strategy of two wheelers business has also changed. They have reached out by shifting their outlets to different pockets of the town, which were earlier confined at market center of Thangal bazar.  At the same time easy payments are facilitated by means of soft loans. One can bypass the hassles of bank loan paper works. The retailers of the two wheelers have devised their own mechanism of selling their product on easy payments. On the other hand the licensing authority of vehicles does not take their work seriously.  It is indeed very easy to procure a driving license in Manipur. The mandatory eligibility test before issuing license is deftly overlooked. Tightening the rules of licensing would be one way to check the menace. Ironically most of the teenagers drive without a license. They are often easy target for roadside VDF and security personnel who feed on them for not possessing necessary documents.  One disturbing trend is the increased number of fast motorbikes which are specifically designed in resemblance with Superbikes to attract teenage customers. Most of the riders have wonton disregard for others who use the same road. There are emerging bikers who take out stunt shows on the road. One can easily spot them at the Palace Compound, near the BOAT and elsewhere performing stunts on their bikes. These stunts are also a regular sight at the Sega Road in the evening when young girls come out from coaching centers to head home. One cannot believe the kind of maneuverability these young boys have with their bikes. All of them are self-taught, taking cue from television and friends. The five days of Yaoshang was chock-full with bike stunts in so many places. Onlookers clicking pictures with their mobile phones added false energy to them. One can understand the vivacity of the adolescence. They are a bundle of energy which can explode at the wrong place, at the wrong time if not guided properly in the right direction. Our boys should be able to make sense of what is behind the camera when they watch stunt videos. Behind the cameras, there are ambulances and paramedics who are on maximum alert to attend the bikers if at all anything happen to them. We suggest the law enforcing agencies should take stringent measures to control this dangerous practice of raw adventurism.  At the same time, parents should be careful not to pamper their children with life threatening toys.

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