In yet another tragic incident of its kind, several lives were lost while many people were left injured when a bus they were travelling in skidded off the road in Assar Doda.
Authorities have assured to launch a probe into the incident, and the same is a welcome step. One would like to see probe panel to come out with real deals and make recommendations to prevent such incident from repeating. There is saying that probes lack probity in this part of the globe and as such it is also hoped that the inquiry does not meet the same fate as others in the past.
While some general causes like error attributed to drivers including reckless driving, overloading, poor condition of vehicles, etc. are prevalent almost across the country, the accidents in J&K can be attributable to various factors which among others include lack of knowledge about safe driving principles. Historically, people and administration have been quite slow in taking effective steps to improve the engineering of roads.
The situation calls for launching road safety awareness campaigns on such stretches to check accidents caused due to human errors.
There is a need for the transition to a professional road environment which requires the implementation of first-tier reforms that deal with the quality of road infrastructure, facilities for susceptible users and zero-tolerance enforcement of rules by a trained, professional and empowered machinery.
Scientific road system marked by good engineering, strict enforcement, appropriate technology use and respect for all road users is the need of the hour and steps should be taken towards achieving it.
Even more important is the need to learn the right lessons from this tragedy and work towards evolving a road safety ecosystem for Jammu and Kashmir at large. The automobile user should be made to use the basic safety features and complying with the traffic rules. The administration needs to put real focus and threadbare discussion on the issue for safer roads for all.
Also for achieving any measure of success, an effective enforcement of traffic regulations is a must. To prevent road deaths and injuries, a traffic system better adapted to the physical vulnerabilities of its users needs to be created and it cannot be delayed. There is need for thorough determined action.
The administration needs to put in place a multi pronged strategy by involving various departments. All these departments need to assume a systematic assessment of the identified locations and proceed with the installation of safety measures to prevent repeat of Assar Doda.