Indian roads are considered the most dangerous road in world annually more than 150,000 people die in road crashes, over 3 million are hospitalised and more than 10 million people get minor injuries. These accidents cause various grades of disabilities. Most of the accident victims belong to the age group of 14-46 years. Most of the victims of road accidents are pedestrians, two-wheeler riders, and cyclists. Road accidents occur due to several reasons. Poor traffic management, poor road conditions and flouting of traffic rules top the chart.
To avoid 60 per cent accidents in India, a new urban policy should be adopted. Israel has adopted a new town planning policy under which movement of people is channelized on busy streets. So nobody unnecessarily comes on highways thus the chances of accidents reduces. This policy also helps in increasing the speed of vehicles on the highways. We can also think of exclusive roads for two-wheelers and other slow moving vehicles.
In case of accidents hospital and first-aid facilities should be near the highways. Adequate telephone facilities should also be made available on highways. Scientific and engineering method should be used to minimize road accidents. For this better traffic signals, sign board display, clear direction to drivers for their destination. There is also need to make our children aware about traffic rules so that we can create a future in which road users are responsible. The implementation of stringent laws against drink and drive is the need of the hour because a large number of accidents are caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. The recent verdict of the Apex court to ban the sale of liquor on highways is a welcome step. The quality of helmets should be a priority for two-wheelers and the sale and manufacturing of low-quality helmets should be banned.
To prevent these accidents following measures should be adopted by government. Reorientation courses for all heavy vehicle drivers should be conducted at the interval of three years for renewal of driving licenses.
For building safe roads, the government should conduct awareness programs on a regular basis and people should be briefed about the dangers of not following traffic rules. The Good Samaritan Law should come into force effectively so that people do not hesitate in helping accident victims.
[The views expressed are the author’s own. They do not purport to reflect the views of Urban Update.]