Checking road accidents

This has reference to the matador accident at Udhampur a few days ago, in which a matador turned turtle while overspeeding and overtaking another vehicle resulting in the loss of four precious lives.Every year Road Safety Week is celebrated by the Motor Vehicles Department, during which many activities including rallies are organised and people and the drivers are sensitized about the need to observe traffic rules.But after a few days things return to the same state with the drivers openly flouting traffic rules with impunity.It is a common sight to see drivers driving without seat belts and bikers without wearing helmets. Overspeeding, overloading and overtaking on the wrong side are the major violations which need to be taken cognizance of to ensure smooth and safe transport system.The fact that after this incident, a large number of vehicles were seized speaks volume how many people drive without valid documents. Matadors often start at a slow pace in the beginning and stop for as long as five to ten minutes at some stops to wait for more passengers but as the drivers see any vehicle coming behind them, they pick up rash speed caring a fig for the lives of the passengers. Moreover, they pick up passengers not at the fixed stops but at any point along the road.If any passengers objects to it, he or she is rudely treated.All this needs to be checked and exemplary punishment awarded to the violaters of traffic rules. Surprise checks ought to be conducted in the morning and evening, especially at the time of opening and closure of schools/offices in the morning and evening when overloading is at its peak.Govt should ply SRTC buses in the regions where there is shortage of passengers vehicles. Moreover, drivers and conductors should be mandatorily required to wear uniforms to distinguish them from the passengers.The District Administration Udhampur has taken some measures to check such incidents in future and established a helpline where the passengers can submit their complaints. Passengers ought to avail themselves of this facility and never feel shy of filing complaints of rash driving, misbehaviour etc at the given number.There is also need to conduct refresher/orientation courses for the drivers of minibuses and matadors to sensitise them about the need of safe driving in their own interest and in the interest of the passengers.
Ashok Sharma,