Jun 29, 2014

'Road safety' I feel has become an issue to take up on education. Most of us are driven around by drivers who are either not told to refrain from it, or are encouraged to drive with risks, going at high speeds and dangerously overtaking others oftentimes quite indecently. Kids and grown ups alike enjoy that (grown ups - sometimes, or some of the grown ups) thrill and for kids it must be akin the Need for Speed games they play at home. The cost of an accident are the last things on our minds, and its usual to face situations where the offender will blame you for the accident to get out of it.

I think the TV channels and sponsors could create public service announcements around this issue to raise awareness. If we can't control our drivers, be it for how they are parking or the way they are driving, we are constantly creating risk and nuisance, both of which should be things avoided in a 'civil society'.

The bus drivers are harder to get to, who probably get away with the most serious offenses. Apart from ensuring great penalties on the owners of bus services for these offenses - from damaging public property (road dividers, pavements, etc.), to minor assaults (bumping into other cars, buses and people), to killing; we should take steps to have them view some sort of mandatory educational material as part of their license test. Those should clearly outline the damage they can cause when someone dies or loses a limb due to their callous driving.

I have found a few public announcement videos that have been created in New Zealand to caution drivers. The first uses animation to show the effect of selfish driving and how being social can help you have a better day. The second and third are graver, and shows how split second decisions can lead to an unwanted situation.

Drive Social


Flying Objects

No More Road Accidents

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014


Jun 28, 2014

In 2010 an accident in New Zealand's Pike River Mine claimed 29  lives. I didn't know much about the tragic event but through twists and turns had the privilege to see an internal screening of a documentary produced around that incident. Dave Dobbyn is a Kiwi musician who has been around since the 70s, and he has been commissioned to write a song on that event. As part of the process Dave visits the site and the families, hears their stories and its all captured nicely on film, to be shown later this year on TV possibly. The film ends in a live performance of the song. Dave wrote beautifully and the composition also lends to its emotional qualities, accompanied by a huge choir as well. Its a well made film.

Throughout the screening however I constantly kept thinking about the kinds of events I and we saw in
the year 2013 at the end of which I came to New Zealand. Its probably no use singling out 2013, as we usually experience death as a serial event, our roads claiming more lives usually than anything else I suppose. The school kids returning from a football match, the 6 boys beaten to death, and as a finale to my last year at home, the demise of the garments workers of Rana Plaza. We wouldn't have the budget to commission that many songs, or documentaries, our problems lie elsewhere.

Hope you enjoy the song above, its one Dave Dobbyn sang to the families once while he was still figuring out the song about the 29 men. Watch out for the documentary, its titled "Dreams Lie Deeper".


Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2014

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