Remedial Measures Against Accidents 

Earlier this week,  Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level meeting on Road Safety. While terming deaths due to road accidents “cause of worry”, the Lieutenant Governor said that the government was making continuous efforts to make the public aware of road safety and is committed to enforce the rules and necessary interventions besides facilities.

Road accidents continue to claim previous lives in Jammu and Kashmir. The large number of deaths in road accidents every year should have raised an alarm bell among the policy-makers and the concerned government agencies responsible for ensuring the safety of people travelling by road. However, it is never late to take remedial measures.

While the Lt Governor has directed the concerned officials to identify factors contributing to road accidents and take proactive measures, it is hoped that directions do not remain restricted to papers.

As rightly observed by the LG, there is a need to make necessary technological interventions for highly effective road safety measures.

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.

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 continue.

There is a need for analyzing and micro-manage the accident-prone stretches. In the rural areas, most mishaps involve vehicles rolling down the mountainous stretches. Remote areas have the problem of less number and frequency of buses and other vehicles. All this may lead to overcrowding, increasing the chances of an accident.

Training of traffic police, strengthening manpower, generating awareness amongst the people, especially in educational institutions, crackdown on drunken driving and speed, roping in volunteers for road safety programs would be important steps to address the challenges.

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