Monday, September 22, 2008

Dogs or Motor Bikes what is more dangerous?

Today is Friday the 19th of September. I returned from the Polonnaruwa hospital. Sudath who works for me on my land, the 5 acres in Raja Ela, Hingurakgoda, was returning at 9pm last night with his 7month pregnant wife, on his motorbike, from a clinic near the hospital. A dog had suddenly crossed the road and both had fallen off the bike. They had superficial wounds to hands and legs and were taken by a trishaw to the hospital where they were admitted for observation and x-ray the following day.

What I wish to note is that soon after Sudath was admitted there were four other people who were brought into the ward with injuries some serious resulting from dogs running across the road.

If one is familiar with Sri Lanka one will realize as a motorist one sees many dogs on the road in groups or singly and a motor vehicle is usually safe from their menace. However motorbikes are in harms way as they are constantly running across the road with no care or concern for the traffic.

With our free medical care, no one seems to make an issue out of the high cost of health care arising out of dogs causing traffic accidents on the road. I did mention in an earlier piece where our drivers tend to brake suddenly endangering civilians, when dogs cross the road as they try to avoid harming the animal and harm the humans instead. This motorbike accident brought home to me, the frequency of this occurrence with the attendant costs to the economy, which outweigh the benefits of having so many dogs around.

I invite the reader’s comments on this issue, as the increasing number of motorbikes on the road with the resulting accidents are putting a serious strain on the free healthcare system of this country. Will bike riders be more careful if they have to pay for a share of the cost of accidents? Even if it is not their fault, but only because they are in vehicles prone to accidents.

The hospital was full and this has over 500 beds. In this ward there were two to a bed and the next bed was a soldier(MP) who was stabbed last night by an army deserter who had been identified and faced imminent arrest.

This hospital has a reputation for expertise in treating poisons either resulting from snakebites or from ingesting pesticides as is commonly done due to the slightest provocation, mostly in the form of attempted suicides.


N said...

I guess for some people its a natural reaction...I've almost instinctively braked a couple of times, then realized I was travelling at 70mph and would probably kill myself if I tried to stop and just run the creature over (usually a squirrel or a skunk in this part of the woods...would probably react differently if it was a dog!)

Anonymous said...

take the damned humans off the road and let the animals live in peace!

Jack Point said...

The country has gone to the dogs. It is nincompoops like Sagarica Rajakarunanyake who are behind this menace and the blood of many a human being will be on their hands.

Stray dogs are dangerous and need to be taken off the streets.
The problem with dogs is that unlike cats they are pack animals and territorial. The stray dogs form packs and then mark out their territory. After that they they will try to keep out anyone who approaches. They also run around more than cats and they also chase cyclists especially at night when they jump at the light.

If the animal lovers will care to put their money where their mouths are then they are free to collect the stray dogs and keep them in their houses.

If they can't do that, then they should not impose costs on the rest of society by insisting that the dogs be allowed to roam free.

This non-sense about neutering will not help, they can never do all the dogs and it does not take the dogs off the street who are an ever present danger to humans.

aljuhara said...

I have thought exactly the same thing- and I am sure my downfall someday will be due to some miserable rodent scootin across.
it is an instinctive response.
that and the amount of money the government spends on anti rabies vaccines should really convince people that this is an issue worth picking up