Road safety in India the worst as per World Health Organisation survey

author image CarTrade Editorial Team
Wednesday 20 March 2013, 11:54 AM

Most drivers and passengers are aware that road safety in India is one of the worst in the world. Apart from a general disregard for rules, there are also many different types of moving objects on the road, which includes horses and cows, bullock carts, slow moving rickshaws, pedestrians and others. Vehicles are commonly seen moving in the wrong direction and these often enter and exit out of turns suddenly. Therefore, it is not really a surprise looking at a news article which says that road safety in India is the worst as per World Health Organisation (WHO).

Auto companies and journalists have been crying hoarse about the improvement of road infrastructure for many years. Though the latest automobiles are being sold in India, there is little room in cities to drive them. As per the WHO study, out of the 12 lakh lives lost every year in accidents, about 1 lakh are from India. In cities of Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, heavy fines are being imposed on bike riders without helmets. Only 28 countries out of the total 182 surveyed follow stringent laws on over speeding, child restraints, drinking and driving and wearing safety belts.

It is the lack of knowledge and general ignorance about road laws that has led to this situation in the country. Safety measures on roads, such as marking of speed breakers, appropriate warning signs, manned railway crossings and other basic measures are lacking, which have also contributed to accidents. The speed with which road construction has been done is not able to cope up with the pace of population rise. In many cities, such as Mumbai, number of vehicles has increased many folds, but length and size of roads has not increased sufficiently over the years.

With the use of various road safety shows and demonstrations, WHO wishes to spread the awareness about following road safety in India. Government needs to impose heavy fines on law breakers through traffic police, instead of granting the freedom to drive based on a small fine. The quality of driving schools in the country has to go up so that drivers are correctly educated about road safety. Corruption is also a major reason because of which it has been quite easy to get a driving license by paying a certain fee. This is a crime on which heavy fines need to be imposed.

In the biggest sense of safety, it is drivers who have to follow basic civic sense while driving. For example, frequent lane cutting and that too without indicators is very dangerous and the same needs to be communicated. While on a turn, many drivers stop their cars in such a way that it obstructs the movement of traffic in another direction. Strict enforcement of fines is a great way to start in this direction.

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