Understanding the Law
February 2, 2007
Beyond the law

In every civilized society laws have played an important role in regulating life. What would life be without laws? Perhaps it would be “brutish and short.” Laws have been used both to punish offenders and to provide guidance for our conduct in society. We can resort to the court to resolve certain issues affecting our interaction with others but there are many matters that we resolve with the other person without court action. Perhaps our own frailty and our desire for survival have compelled us to be civil to others. There are many persons who do not fall in line with the norms and values of our society but generally we “do unto others as we would have them do unto us” and we practice a code of ethics that requires us to think about the other person.{{more}}

Considerations to all road users

There are many instances when we have to consider others with whom we interact. We pay certain courtesies to other road users. We dim our lights at nights so that the other driver is not blinded by our bright light. We drive at a steady pace because there are persons behind us who would be affected by our leisurely pace or we allow them to pass at the first opportunity. We also allow the person on the side road to get into the main road traffic because we would like the same courtesy to be extended to us. We stop abruptly when we hear the siren of an ambulance or the police. Although it would help more if drivers would not just stop but pull aside to allow free passage to the oncoming vehicle.

The ideal is a free flowing traffic on the road as we do not expect to be held up unnecessarily. However, there are some practices which appear to be causing concern, for instance, the long line behind drivers who are doing road practices. To solve this problem the tutors should be on the look out for traffic build up and pull aside at the first opportunity for the convenience of other road users. Although persons could be prosecuted, pedestrians sometimes idle and drivers sometimes refuse to give way on pedestrian crossings.

The minivans

Everyone knows about the quick pace in the minivan business. We often give way to them because we understand their desire to get as many passengers as possible but if we do not act quickly enough in getting out of their way we would be chastised by the conductors with their insulting gestures. Sometimes we are irritated by their rash actions of pulling out suddenly in front of us. It would be of great help if drivers of minivans could consider other road users after all we all have the same object of getting to our destination. Fortunately there are peaceful and long suffering road users and we have not seen the sort of road rage that occurs in some countries.

There cannot be laws for every action or practice and the police cannot be everywhere. We have to comply with the unwritten rules and make life easier for all road users. One rash or reckless action could have serious consequences and could even lead to the death of another. Be always guided by your desire to do it right even though you might experience delays. The number of vehicles, especially in capital Kingstown, has increased considerably. Drive carefully and avoid accidents. Observe the unwritten rule. Be polite to all road users.