How do we drive adoption for rules in a community, or even at a country level ?
Should a good rule be designed to make it easily enforceable too?
I think it should be.
If we want to build a society where most follow the rules, enforceability should be an important criteria.
To decide whether a new rule should be introduced or not. Whether an existing rule needs to be modified or scrapped.
It is my belief, that when we have rules that can be easily broken without any consequences, it sends a signal to the community. And this signal usually leads to a gradual loss of respect for the law of the land and for the fellow citizens. Read the explanation of the Broken Windows Theory
Let me explain with an example of two rules, which most of us in India are familiar with
- Front seat passengers should wear seat belts while traveling in a car
- All vehicles should have a valid pollution-under-control (PUC) certificate
While both these were introduced in the last 20 years or so in NCR, the first one has seen significant levels of adoption whereas we all know that very few cars and bikes have a valid PUC certificate.
If you ask me, the reason is very simple.
For seat-belts, the fact that you are complying (or not) is visible each and every time you are driving. Any traffic-cop who sees you not wearing the seat belt can pull you over and issue a challan. So you run a very high risk of being punished if you are out on the road w/o wearing your seat belts.
Contrast this with the pollution certificate rule.
A traffic cop on the road has no clue if your vehicle currently has a valid PUC certificate or not. Hence the cop would rarely pull you aside asking for the certificate. It is usually asked for when you have already been stopped for some reason and they feel that they might put more pressure on you if you are w/o the PUC. Hence as car owners, we are usually not very afraid to drive w/o this certificate. The risk is just too low. And hence very few cars actually have a valid PUC certificate.
So while almost everyone knows that the laws need them to drive a non-polluting vehicle, very few actually end up doing so.
And I think its very simply just the issue of how easily the rule can be enforced.
In my opinion we should have few rules, but all should be enforced strictly.
What do you think?