Every year, millions of lives are cut short while a huge number of people suffer life-changing injuries because of road accidents globally. Earlier this week, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was observed.
The day, as per United Nations, has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road accidents and for giving recognition to the suffering of road mishap victims and the work of support and rescue services. It puts the spotlight on justice. Traffic law enforcement, thorough investigation after a crash to find out if a crime was committed and to prevent recurrence, criminal prosecution where appropriate and civil compensation are all part of the justice system.
The objectives is to remember all people killed and seriously injured on the roads; acknowledge the crucial work of the emergency services; draw attention to the generally trivial legal response to culpable road deaths and injuries advocate for better support for road traffic victims and victim families and promote evidence-based actions to prevent and eventually stop further road traffic deaths and injuries.
Many precious lives continue to be lost while many people suffer disability, some for lifetime, across the globe including J&K. 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 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.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2023 put the spotlight on justice and when carried out seriously, fairly and consistently, justice will be a major factor of prevention and it will ensure lessons are learnt from their tragedies so that they may not be repeated.