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With Rising Number Of Road Deaths, Why India Needs To Fight Drink Driving

In 2015, nearly 1.5 lakh people, almost the entire population of a town like Shimla, died in road crashes in India. This is the highest number of road accident related deaths that India has ever recorded.

Written By: Tania Goklany | Edited By: Priyanka Bhattacharya | December 12, 2017 2:15 PM | Features

In 2015, nearly 1.5 lakh people, almost the entire population of a town like Shimla, died in road crashes in India. This is the highest number of road accident related deaths that India has ever recorded. These statistics also represent a 53.9% increase over the last decade, and nearly a tenfold increase since 1970.

Road To Safety-Road Accident Related Deaths Are On The Rise In India

According to the data, people riding two-wheelers including bicycles, and pedestrians are the most vulnerable to road accidents. In 2015 alone, over 60,000 people were killed in accidents involving two-wheelers and pedestrians.

States With The Worst Track Record

Tamil Nadu leads the nation in terms of road accidents, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded the most number of fatalities in 2015.

Road To Safety-Road Accident Related Deaths Are On The Rise In India

While the data does not distinguish between those accidents that are a result of drunken driving, the act continues to be a menace on the roads. Not only does drunk driving put at risk the life of the driver, but also that of co-passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. While bad roads or sudden faults in the vehicle may not be things that we can always control to avoid accidents, we can put an end to drunken driving.

Also Read: No Liquor Shops On Highways From April 1: Supreme Court

According to the World Health Organisation, “The immediate effects of alcohol on the brain are either depressing or stimulating in nature, depending on the quantity consumed”. It further says that alcohol consumption “results in impairment which increases the likelihood of a crash since it produces poor judgement, increased reaction time, lower vigilance and decreased visual acuity. Physiologically, alcohol also lowers blood pressure and depresses consciousness and respiration. Alcohol can impair judgement and increase crash risk even at relatively low Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels. However, the effects become progressively worse as the BAC increases”.

Road To Safety-Road Accident Related Deaths Are On The Rise In India

According to Section 185 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, any person under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle found to have an alcohol level exceeding 30 mg per 100 ml of blood as detected by a breath analyzer will be penalized as follows.

Road To Safety-Road Accident Related Deaths Are On The Rise In India

In a bid to make Indian roads safer and give the law more teeth, the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was approved by the Union Cabinet earlier this year. Once cleared, the new amendment will provide for heftier penalties in cases violating road safety laws, with the penalty for drunken driving potentially being increased fivefold to Rs. 10,000. Road accidents in India kill more people than terrorism or natural disasters, and the new bill can work as a huge deterrent to drunk and unsafe driving.

3 Comments

  1. KC Tiwari Int. RS Specialist

    By an Int. Road Safety Specialist
    Establishing a road safety plan or road safety strategy is key to achieving the objectives of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
    In order to significantly reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries, it is strongly recommended that the Government of India, States, Police, Transport and Road Authorities:
    • Develop and implement integrated and sustainable road safety strategies and comprehensive action plans.
    • Set ambitious yet achievable targets to reduce the level of road trauma, say 20% by 2020.
    • Urgently strengthen the management structure by involving all concerned Stakeholders in National/State/ District Road Safety Authorities.
    • Such Authorities are needed for cooperation, collaboration and coordination.
    • Through Institutional strengthening and capacity building, improve technical knowledge and capacity to be able to deliver effective road safety initiatives
    • Improve the quality of data, (with exact locations, movement and collision details), as needed to make effective decisions for interventions
    • Monitor progress and track performance
    • Increase road safety funding and make best use of available resources to maximize road safety benefits.
    National and local governments are encouraged to implement activities according to the five pillars of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (To which India has agreed to follow):
    • Pillar 1 – Road safety management
    • Pillar 2 – Safer roads and mobility
    • Pillar 3 – Safer vehicles
    • Pillar 4 – Safer road users
    • Pillar 5 – Post-crash response

    Reply
  2. KC Tiwari Int. RS Specialist

    Establishing a road safety plan or road safety strategy is key to achieving the objectives of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
    In order to significantly reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries, it is strongly recommended that the Government of India, States, Police, Transport and Road Authorities:
    • Develop and implement integrated and sustainable road safety strategies and comprehensive action plans.
    • Set ambitious yet achievable targets to reduce the level of road trauma, say 20% by 2020.
    • Urgently strengthen the management structure by involving all concerned Stakeholders in National/State/ District Road Safety Authorities.
    • Such Authorities are needed for cooperation, collaboration and coordination.
    • Through Institutional strengthening and capacity building, improve technical knowledge and capacity to be able to deliver effective road safety initiatives
    • Improve the quality of data, (with exact locations, movement and collision details), as needed to make effective decisions for interventions
    • Monitor progress and track performance
    • Increase road safety funding and make best use of available resources to maximize road safety benefits.
    National and local governments are encouraged to implement activities according to the five pillars of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (To which India has agreed to follow):
    • Pillar 1 – Road safety management
    • Pillar 2 – Safer roads and mobility
    • Pillar 3 – Safer vehicles
    • Pillar 4 – Safer road users
    • Pillar 5 – Post-crash response

    Reply
  3. Pal

    First ban manufacture of liquor in India.

    Reply

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