Over an year ago, I was driving not so fast not so slow, near the hard median of a road, when I spotted a bold biker riding on the ‘wrong’ side. Right around then, an impatient cab (Sumo) following behind decided to pass me from the left, the overtaking action putting him on a collision course with the wrong-way biker. The biker sensed trouble and tried to ‘filter’ through us. But in between his confused maneuvers, the bike slipped, fell, and I found the man and machine directly ahead of me. Hard median to my right, heavy-metal Sumo on my left, I didn’t have much to do or think, I braked hard, real hard, and stopped just short of the fallen human and machine waiting to be crushed.
After a few chants of tumba thanks and sorry, I was thinking what if I had actually collided with the fallen bike? What if I had injured that guy? Would insurance proceedings really and effortlessly side with me, and punish only the biker? What if motor vehicle insurance laws and arrangements were ruthless enough – prove that the other party was blatantly breaking a basic rule of driving, no matter what (even if the other party suffered life threatening injuries – sorry), you don’t have to pay and worry a paisa?
Extend this thinking a bit further. What if insurance companies used lane markers to determine the guilty party in vehicle accidents? And what if, in case the markers were missing from the road, the insurance companies are allowed to sue the authority responsible for maintaining the lane markers for compensation?
What if, when I ram into a vehicle parked in no-parking zone, I wont be liable for any damage done to either vehicle?
Can strengthening the hands of motor vehicle insurance firms be an indirect way of helping the enforcement authorities?
PS: There could be misuse (Go ram a vehicle parked on no-parking zone if you want to get your car dents repaired). But can the percentage of misuse can be kept low enough?
[Note: Photos are for representation purposes, not fromthe incident I narrated here]
[Cross posted from Praja-Bangalore, comments off]