Despite covid-19 restrictions during the substantial time in the year, India recorded 1.20 lakh cases of deaths due to negligence relating to road accidents in 2020, according to the latest NCRB data. It means 328 people lost their lives every day on an average despite Covid-19 lockdowns. 559 of deaths due to negligence relating to road accidents occurred in J&K. In 2020 alone, there were 95 cases of “hit and run” in J&K, the report showed.
While 1.20 lakh such deaths were recorded in 2020, the figures stood at 1.36 lakh in 2019 and 1.35 lakh in 2018, the data showed.
The country also logged 1.35 lakh cases of “hit and run” since 2018, the report of the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, showed.
The cases of causing “hurt” by rash or negligent driving on public way stood at 1.30 lakh in 2020, 1.60 lakh in 2019 and 1.66 lakh in 2018, while the cases of “grievous hurt” stood at 85,920, 1.12 lakh and 1.08 lakh, respectively, the data showed.
Many precious lives continue to be lost while many people suffer disability, some for lifetime. The consequences of a tragedy often endure long after the mishap is over. Road accidents occur due to multiple causes such as over-speeding, use of Mobile phone, drunken driving including consumption of alcohol, drug or overloaded vehicle, vehicular condition, poor light condition, jumping red light, overtaking, neglect of civic bodies, weather condition, fault of driver, fault of pedestrian, driving on wrong side, defect in road condition, defect in condition of motor vehicle, automobile design, etc.
According to a study by the World Bank on road accidents, every death in India caused by a road accident leads to the depletion of nearly seven months’ income in the households of poor families and pushes the victims’ kin into a vicious cycle of poverty and debt. The low-income rural households, predictably, are hit the hardest.
There is a need to lay down engineering standards and complaints procedures that will help citizens hold the concerned to account. There is also need for education, civil society cooperation and professional policing besides muscular enforcement of law through tougher penalties for seat belts, drunken driving, smartphone use and other violations. Otherwise the carnage will only increase.