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Amir Altaf
Road accidents are the most common mishaps prevalent in India and the majority of these accidents are caused by human fault, these crashes are fatal and consume almost thousands of lives every year.
According to a union ministries report there is a steep rise in the number of pedestrians killed on roads, with 1.5 lakh pedestrians killed in the road accidents in 2018, an increase of 3500 compared to 2017.
India has 1% of the world’s vehicle but accounts for 6% of world’s road traffic accidents according to data obtained from a 2018 world’s health organisation report.
India’s young productive population aged 18-45 years is involved in 70% of road accidents, according to the data from Road accident in India 2018, a report published by the Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways.
Road accidents are one of the 12 most common causes of deaths in India. The ninth most common causes of premature deaths and 10th most common reason for disability according to the 2017 WHO Global Health estimates. In 2018, of all the road death’s the most were of those riding two wheelers (36%) followed by pedestrian (15%), the ministry data shows.
If we particularly talk about Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 the number of road accidents was around six thousand. Traffic discrepancies have been major source of death, injury and damage to property every year. In 2018 over speeding of vehicles was the main reason for road accident casualties.
As per the Union ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Jammu and Kashmir ranks second across India in the tally of 10000 vehicles with an average of over 900 deaths every year in the last five years.
As per the figures of traffic department over 9000 people died and almost 80000 got injured in 56000 road accidents during the last nine years.
For last one decade, the government made tall claims to prevent road incidents. However, the government’s announcements have been confined to papers only. In April 2012, a committee headed by CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami submitted a report to the government.
It had come up with a slew of recommendations for the transport, traffic department, R&B, and other departments for curbing the growing road accidents.
It had found increase in the number of vehicles, narrow and faulty roads, negligent driving, and ageing vehicles among the reasons for growing accidents in J&K.
The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the nodal agency to coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in J&K.
However, nothing has been done in this regard so far. Similarly, the government has also failed to set up trauma centres along the highway.
Steps to prevent road accidents
1. Enforcement of traffic regulations and awareness regarding road safety measures is essential for preventing road accidents.
2. Awareness programmes should be organised with the active involvement of youth so that they can sensitize their parents and friends regarding road safety measures and regulations which can help in improving the traffic management system in Jammu and Kashmir.
3. Unique 3E’s formula regarding road safety measures i,e Engineering (proper road infrastructure) , Enforcement (of traffic rules) and Education (Awareness among masses) need to be focused on for preventing traffic accidents.
4. Proper transparency in the schemes like Accident victim fund that gives a corpus of 1 crore for the victim of road accidents.
5. RADMS (Road accident data management system) must work properly to ensure actionable inputs and prevent accidents.
6. In order to reduce fatalities and death’s effective post-crash response shall be a greater help as such creating network of Trauma Health care facilities on National and State Highways shall be the policy of Government.
7. In order to improve road safety it shall be the endeavour of the government to provide safe transportation, infrastructure, systematic improvement of safety for impaired /elderly and children shall be ensured during the mobility.
8. Operation of the smart transportation modes with GPS tracking system and CCTV’s by public, private transporters shall be encouraged.
9. Fine collected from traffic violators shall be used to improve roads.
10. To improve communication system available with police and other emergency services as a means to reduce time and to assist in planning and implementation of traffic Aid post scheme.
(The writer is a graduate from Aligarh Muslim university. He can be reached at [email protected])

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