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Reducing number of accidents should be government's top priority
Given the massive increase in the number of accidents across the country, policymakers and planners need to give a serious thought to this issue to come up with some good solutions which can help in drastically reducing the number of accidents.

According to a government study, an accident took place almost every minute in 2011, leading to the death of around 1.42 lakh people.

Highlights of the study:

- The country witnessed a road accident every minute in 2011 which claimed one life every 3.7 minutes, one of the highest in the world.

- In 2010, the number of accidents was 4.97 lakhs, injuring 5.11 lakh people, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

- Driver's fault accounted for a whopping 77.5% of the total road accidents while pedestrian and cyclists’ faults accounted for a mere 3.7% and defect in road condition just 1.5%

- Among the states, Maharashtra topped the list with the highest number of road accidents at 68,438 followed by Tamil Nadu at 65,873, Madhya Pradesh at 49,406, Karnataka at 44,731 and Andhra Pradesh at 44,165.

- Mumbai topped the list of cities with 25,471 road accidents, Delhi came second with 7,281 road accidents followed by Bangalore at 6,031, Indore at 4,995 and Bhopal at 3,459 number of road accidents.

- In the year 2011, the number of accidents and resultant deaths are marginally lower than 2010

- Major cause of these accidents is exposure to risk nature of traffic and lack of traffic separation, etc.

- Another disturbing trend was that from the total number of road accidents 53.5% were reported from rural areas, reflecting a rising tide of motorisation in rural India. Compared to this, urban areas reported 46.5% of the total number of accidents.

- The ministry has proposed new schemes for better traffic management during the 12th five year plan (2012-17), including training in driving and first aid.

- In one of the meetings of the National Road Monitoring Centre (NRSC) held in the past, certain measures to improve road safety were discussed. These measures include: (a) Setting up of State Road Safety Councils and District Committees (b) Setting up of Road Safety Fund at State Level and setting aside 50 per cent fines collected for traffic violations for this fund (c) Taking strict action against drunken driving (d) Removal of liquor shops on national highways (e) Government would also work towards enforcement of use of seat belt, developing emergency medical services by having 24 x 7 call centres, with a dedicated common telephone number, road accident crash investigation etc.

Based on the above, no doubt all those who care for the society and community should be deeply concerned and therefore this issue needs to be given topmost priority by all concerned for getting to some good tangible solutions for reducing the figure of accidental injuries/deaths through road accidents in the future. Attempts should be made by the planners to go in for zero occurence of road accidents while planning for new colonies/cities/towns/districts, highways, roads and so on. The existing infrastructure for road transport should also undergo complete transformation for the better all aiming at zero tolerance of road accidents.

Policy makers are requested to ensure that in future all the roads sanctioned for pavement must have median dividers because they are a sort of assurance for preventing road accidents of any kind. Policymakers can also do well to ensure that at traffic junctions, automatic timers are set up in addition to the red-green-yellow lights for helping the movement of traffic to be governed more appropriately.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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