Business Standard

'Increased stress, impulsive nature results in road rage'

IANS  |  New Delhi 

"Increased stress levels, indifference towards victims and impulsive nature" are a few factors responsible for the increasing incidents of road rage in the city with the recent one resulting in the death of a 38-year-old man.

Despite the Delhi Police's efforts to curb the menace by arresting over 350 culprits in 265 such cases between 2010 and 2014 (till November 30), road rage incidents have only increased in the past five years.

The latest April 5 incident, in which 38-year-old Shanawaz was beaten to death in Delhi's Turkman Gate area by five men in an i20 car after a spat over yielding space in a traffic jam, has once again exposed the high stress, leading to aggression among the people.

Experts attribute the rise of incidents of road rage to "stress".

"It's not about a metal disorder, it's about the state of mind of people living around us...It is because of high level of stress in the society," Samir Parikh, director of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Healthcare, told IANS.

Parikh also said that it is the loss of human connection that is behind the road rage incidents.

"We somehow have lost the human-to-human connection and easily lost control over ourselves. We don't think about the consequences on others because the empathy towards them is less," Parikh added.

From January to November 2014, Delhi Police registered 93 cases of road rage. A total of 53 cases were registered in 2013, as compared to 49 cases filed in 2012.

In 2011, the number of registered road rage cases stood at 34 and at 36 in 2010.

This rising graph has left Delhi Police officers "helpless" despite their best efforts.

"It's very difficult to curb road rage cases as it depends on the mindset of the people. Everyone should remain patient while driving otherwise such incidents cannot be stopped," a police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

"We manage to arrest the road rage culprits in a very short period, but still we have failed to stop repeats of such cases," he added.

Delhi Police data also shows that 118 people were arrested in 2014 (till November 30).

In 2013, the number of people arrested was 69 and 79 in 2012. The figures were 60 and 55 in 2011 and 2010.

Another Delhi Police officer said the perpetrators do not care who the victim is - whether a common man or a policeman.

"The anger of road rage culprits has reached such an extent that they do not even hesitate to kill policemen, as seen in the case of traffic constable Mana Ram," the officer said, also requesting anonymity.

Mana Ram was dragged for 150 metres before being crushed under the wheels of a car at the Zakhira flyover on June 14, 2014 after he had signaled the vehicle to stop for violating a no-entry rule.

Sanjay Pattanayak, senior psychiatrist at Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences, told IANS: "It depends on the personality of the indvidual. Some people have very a impulsive personality, they do not think about the consequences and they take law into their own hands."

"It also happens because of the influence of substances like alcohol. It also depends on aggressive behaviour or the mood of the people," he added.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.s@ians.in)

First Published: Tue, April 07 2015. 18:46 IST
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