Over 1.3 Million Road Accident Deaths In A Decade: India’s Killer Roads
Around 1.46 lakh people were killed in road accidents in India last year and globally, road traffic injury is the number one killer of adolescents aged 15-17. In terms of sheer numbers, India has more road accidents deaths than anywhere else in the world – here one person dies in a road accident every four minutes.
Not just that, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of pedestrian deaths in road accidents in the country rose to 7,088 in 2015 from 6,690 the previous year.
Despite India having the second largest road network in the world, and over 1.3 million deaths in road accidents in the last decade, there is still no comprehensive road safety legislation in the country.
Speaking to NDTV, Tuhin A Sinha, Social Commentator and Consultant, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, said, “The problem in India is the shortage of pedestrian flyovers or subways, we don’t have adequate road facilities for pedestrians and as a result there is a huge death rate due to road accidents. Good road facilities are critical in reducing these deaths.”
India accounts for one-fifth of global deaths due to road accidents with over 20 million hospitalised each year.
“Every day there is one accident or the other, as a responsible citizen, one must commit to be a safe road user,” added Tuhin A Sinha.
What our country needs is stringent penalties on road and traffic violations, streamlining the procedure regarding registration of vehicles and issuing of driving licenses.
As a signatory to the UN Decade of action for road safety, India has committed to making its roads safer. The Ministry of Road transport has said in a written message to the 18th International Road Federation (IRF) World Roads Meeting (WRM) that they are committed to achieving 50 per cent reduction of road deaths in the country by 2020. To achieve this goal, the government will adopt newer smart mobility technologies, in the form of traffic and transport efficiency, customized mobility, environment friendly mobility and road safety.
“Expansion of NH from 1,00,000 km to 2,00,000 km is a key decision of MORTH towards improving road safety on the Highways. Apart from the structural changes, the working conditions of truck drivers play a crucial part in reducing road accidents. From April 2017, it will be enforced that all truck-drivers’ cabins need to have air conditions,” said Tuhin A Sinha.
Amid concerns over rising death toll in road accidents, Rajasthan government also introduced a mobile application called ‘Hamsafar’ that intends to reduce the casualties by half by 2020. In order to fight for a change, Nagaland, Chief Minister T R Zeliang launched a year-long Road Safety Awareness Campaign there recently.