Hit and run cases are nothing new in Mauritius, if in some cases, the drivers do make it a point to report the matter to the police, in other cases, they escape because they are harassed by a strong feeling of fear or panic. And also because they hope nobody would ever discover the truth. The possibility of being lynched by an angry mob further explains their attitude.
However, nothing can ever justify leaving a victim to his fate. The victim may not be dead yet and letting him wait for interminable minutes in utter agony for help from somewhere is, to say the least, cruel, seriously injured, he may be unable to contact someone on the phone. He is left there on the road or in a corner to die miserably.
It’s cowardly and irresponsible to abandon a victim. Life being what it is, one of the driver’s own family members could get involved in a similar situation. How would he react? Would he appreciate that the culprit washed his hand off and never cared to look back?
Yet, stopping after an accident to offer some basic form of help would simplify things. At least the driver is going to be respected for upholding the law, for doing his best in a delicate situation, for showing consideration for the victim who may be on the verge of death.
It would be a great consolation to the victim’s parents and close relatives to know that the driver attempted to lessen to some extent their suffering. Leaving a bloodstained body writhing in pain without any kind of help is horrifying. It’s condemnable for the simple reason that nothing is more precious than the life of a human being. Escape demonstrates a lack of humanism.
Driving-schools should, as a rule, be informing learners that it is far better to stop and do something, however small, to save a life rather than drive away and pretend that nothing is the matter.
Hit and run drivers are under the impression that no one will know about the deed, especially if there are no witnesses. The truth is that our police are not as inefficient as they might think. The police will eventually find out. The government, for its part, is taking interesting and urgent measures to address the issue of traffic accidents. But ultimately, each and every driver must take his own responsibility. When you are at the wheel, it’s your job to look after your life as well as that of others.