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Q#1 It is a sobering but uncertain possibility that our ability to respond to unknown

hazards is diminished by the prevailing emphasis on control of the known and the
specific." Describe situations where this statement applies.
Ans: Yes. Infact it is a reality that our ability to respond to unknown hazards is diminished by the
prevailing emphasis on control of the known and the specific hazards. This statement applies to many
situations. For instance in the past great emphasis has been laid on hazards due to fire while
neglecting the shock hazards associated with electrical wiring. This is due to the fact that human
perception of risk is greatly influenced by the information available about the risks, their magnitude
and proximity. Hazards due to fire are known and more frequently occuring while electrical shock
hazards are unknown to a certain extent and also rarely occuring. That is why we find fire extinguisher
in almost each and every public building while safety measures for electrical shock hazards are very
rare if any present.
Another example of such situation is the emphasis laid on control of known and frequently occuring
hazard of road accidents while neglecting the disastrous earthquake hazards.
Lastly, significant precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of harmful diseases while
neglecting the unknown hazards associated with seldomly occuring floods also fall under the situations
where above stipulated statement applies.
Q#2 Describe a real or imagined traffic problem in your neighborhood involving
children and elderly people who find it difficult to cross a busy street.
In my neighborhood there is a park located right across a busy street. The park is visited both by the
senior citizens and the children of the locality in the afternoon. On one side of the street there are
residential houses while park is located on the other side of the street. This is a busy collector street
that serves to distribute local street traffic to arterial roads. Thus Children and elderly people both face
difficulty in crossing this busy street due to continuous flow of traffic on it.

a) A commuter traveling to work on that street
As a regular passenger on that street I wont pay heed to any such complaints about dangerous
conditions for pedestrians at that crossing.I would also ignore the requests for a pedestrian crossing
protected by traffic or warning lights. This is because the perception of risk is influenced by its
magnitude and proximity. Since this risk is not asscoiated with my nearones therefore I will not take
it seriously.

b) The parent of a child, or the relative of an older person who has to cross that
street on occasion.
In the above mentioned role I would definitely take all such complaints and requests very seriously.
Moreover I would write an application to the concerned authorities to take serious action to reduce
this hazard. This serious reaction towards the above discussed problem can be attributed to the
proximity of the risk as it is associated with my nearones.

c) A police officer assigned to keep the traffic moving on that street
As a traffic police officer I would ensure that the children and senior citizens are able to cross the
street safely .Thus regulating the flow of traffic including pedestrian movement in a safe and
efficient manner. Additionally, I would convey all the complaints including requests of pedestrians
for the provision of pedestrian crossing to my higher officials.

d) The town's traffic engineer working under a tight budget.
Under this role I would try to find the best soluton to counter the complaints of pedestrians without
compromising the budget constraints. But if it is not possible to workout an economical and efficient
solution to this problem within budget limits then my endeavor would be definitely to convince
higher authorities to increase the budget in order to provide a pedestrian crossing protected by
traffic or warning lights.