Road Accidents

Accidents have become part and parcel of life in this jet age. Some are natural tragedies for which nothing can be done, but the rest are manmade and require a scientific approach to look for some viable solution. Our city roads and highways have become death traps with unusually high casualty figures, well above the national average. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the concerned authorities know the root causes but have never taken action to remove the bottlenecks. Over speeding, rash driving, wrong-way crossings, the condition of roads, potholes, roadside anti-accident railing, and many other reasons are well known but never taken care of except for meetings and assurances. After every major accident, knee-jerk reactions are there for a few days, and then again, the system of ignorance takes over. After repeated interjections from higher authorities, 100 unauthorised cuts have been plugged, crash barriers along 98.65 km are being built, and 3104-speed limit signage has also been erected since April 2022. These are a few welcome initiatives, but much more has to be done. No doubt all major accidents are due to human error, but the very fact that the condition of some highways is such that these errors from humans are automatically produced long, chaotic conditions on NHs results in waiting for hours on the road, rash driving, over speeding, and wrong overtaking, and the net result is an imminent death trap. The situation is serious; both the LG and the Chief Secretary are monitoring the progress, and some positive results are there. Each department has to work overtime to come out with immediate results. Proper checking for drunken driving, rash driving, and the health of drivers must be initiated regularly. Roadworthiness of commercial vehicles, especially passenger ones, no tampering of speed governors, and proper maintenance of highways should be ensured. Immediate installation of CCTVs and an intelligent traffic management system is the need of the hour.