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Q. Road accidents in India: To contain steadily rising road accidents in India, there is urgent need to improve the traffic management and transportation system. Comment.
Jun 11, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

It is said that road accidents in India kill more people than some epidemics. In 2015 it is estimated that due to road accidents about 1,50,000 lives were lost and more than half a million people got  injured. Such high level accidents attributed to archaic and unscientific traffic management, transportation system and systemic corruption that exist in transport departments of India.

Why there is urgent need to improve the traffic management and transportation system?

  • Generally the counts for deaths and injuries in accidents are viewed as less than accurate. World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Road Safety Report-2015 estimation shows that more than 2 lakh lives were lost in 2015 due to road accidents.
  • The same above report says that number of fatalities has continued to increase at about 7% a year over the past decade except over the last couple of years.
  • On an average, 56 road accidents occur and 16 lives are lost every hour in India. Youth in the age group of 15-24 years comprise 33 per cent of the total fatalities.
  • Data of other report shows that more than half of those killed last year were in the productive age group of 15 to 34.
  • According to union transport minister the economic loss from these accidents is about to 3% of the country’s GDP, which is significantly very high.
  • Hence it is one of the grave public health emergency issues that require immediate action.

Suggestions-

  • It is seen that India’s transportation system is very ineffective in enforcement of rules and regulation.  Enforcement of rules effectively will bring down accidents in significant numbers.
  • India needs to adopt stronger road safety policies and effective policing. Motor Vehicles Act and the Indian Penal Code need to be amended in this regard.
  • India suffers from bad road design and failure of civic agencies to maintain road infrastructure. These issues need to be corrected.
  • Similarly there is high systemic corruption exists in vehicle certification and licensing of drivers, and poor monitoring of roadworthiness of commercial vehicles etc. Hence corruption in transport departments needs to be eliminated.

Conclusion-

In the past decade, over a million Indians have lost their lives on the country’s roads, which are among the deadliest in the world. Hence central and state governments need serious introspection and Indian traffic management and transportation system should be improved systematically. In this direction proposed National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board is one of the good move.


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