No end to tragic road accidents

As if one was led to believe in the proverbial “evil eyes” were cast on Jammu and Kashmir state where precious lives are continuously lost intermittently due to unnatural reasons , be it as a result of violence of a particular hue, natural calamities or tragic deaths on roads in accidents. On March 2 as many as 11 precious lives were lost in tragic road accidents in addition to nearly 42 getting wounded. These accidents took place in Udhampur, Kishtwar and Rambandistricts of Jammu division.
Prima facie, the causes of these accidents appear to be because of drivers’ negligence. Whether they carried valid driving licenses and were physically in normal condition are not that difficult to be ascertained. While accidents cannot be avoided cent percent but their recurrence and intensity definitely can be, provided we have a dedicated and foolproof system.
There is no fun in doing blame game post accidents as usually is done , one authority blaming the other , an FIR is registered, ex-gratia is sanctioned and that is all.Each time tragic road accidents take place, the usual response remains momentary in the form of berating traffic system and adversely commenting upon majority of its personnel who either are not found at vulnerable points or are lacking in conducting necessary pre-emptive measures to avert accidents. In most of the cases , at vulnerable points on hilly roads concrete parapets needed to be constructed to make the driver psychologically feel secure and to avert falling of a vehicle deep down in gorges. At least, such points could be secured by regulating traffic, the speed and containing the desire of drivers to overtake on narrow roads. Random checking is not done to ascertain whether a driver was in an inebriated condition which would usually be fraught with dangerous consequences posing severe threat not only to the one on the wheels but all those travelling by that vehicle. Vehicle fitness tests are something unheard of as the zeal to earn more rather without giving a rest or break to the vehicle very often compels the owner to compromise with keeping the vehicle attuned to road worthiness. As far as overloading is concerned , the passengers are equally responsible as the driver and the menace of overloading becomes one of the main causes of road mishaps.
Frequent audit of traffic vigilance on roads and measures to prevent accidents must be undertaken and areas of weaknesses addressed. Rains and snow fall usually cause extensive damage to roads and ditches are very often not only frequent but of menacing forms for which the concerned agencies too have to be responsive. While condoling the unfortunate deaths and expressing sympathies with the bereaved families, we would urge the Government to adopt a holistic approach to ensure accidents free roads and for that concerned departments and agencies worked in tandem. Let by mere expressing sympathies and granting ex-gratia not be the confines of steps taken after accidents on roads take place.