Yet another tragic accident

We cannot be addicted to and obsessive about finding fault with the Traffic Police only for being not in a position to prevent recurring accidents. We do not, however, intend to exonerate them from their utter failure time and again from expected exalted dedicated duty towards checking rash driving, overloading and other ills which contribute to taking place of accidents but what we, as passengers and responsible public, do to prevent such deaths on roads. Had the Tata Sumo vehicle not carrying, instead of maximum seven passengers nearly more than double as much, the driver could have not only negotiated the curve where the ill fated vehicle skidded quite safely but would have reached the destination in time, safe and secure. Why did the passengers board the vehicle when they saw its fixed seating capacity was over?
Unfortunate blend of the greed of the driver to earn more and reaching fast in whatever condition by the overloaded passengers, resulted in the tragic accident on Katli road of Tehsil Billawar in Kathua district claiming nine precious lives and injuring six others. The deceased included three members of a single family – father and his two daughters. That, the vehicle fell down into a deep gorge in Binni Nullah evidences that the driver was driving fast too. The driver sensing all was over, jumped out of the vehicle, must not only lose his driving licence but should get a deterrent punishment so that any other driver thinks twice before packing his vehicle over its capacity. Drivers of any vehicle generally by experience, learn that the more the vehicle was overloaded, the more chances were of the braking system going awry and the vehicle “behaving” unexpectedly against the command on curves. If an accident is invited like what appears in the instant case, the driver, the passengers and the Police are all culprits in equal proportion.
It is quite astonishing that no one tries to learn any lesson from recurring accidents except momentary reactions which vanish after a short time and the same vicious circle sets in operation that of no traffic police en-route to stop and to take all steps to prevent an impending accident, the drivers not hesitating to dump passengers inside the vehicle and the passengers themselves even pleading , beseeching and even forcing the driver to take them aboard. Since most of the people prefer to disregard rules and regulations, under the Motor Vehicle Act 2019, overloading of vehicles attracts a penalty of Rs.20000 plus Rs. 1000 per extra passenger as fine should be meticulously, if not ruthlessly, enforced . Agreed, that an accident cannot be ruled out completely at all but creating circumstances to this extent that while doing that, inner voice keeps ringing warning bells is criminally ignored as greed and saving time rule supreme. There should be an amendment to the already stringent M. V. Act whereby a passenger travelling as an overloaded passenger too must be penalised so that the temptation to travel haphazardly is frustrated.
There is the problem of the inadequacy of the administrative apparatus to deal with the type of emergency as the one under reference and people were agitated over the ambulance reaching quite late on the spot and medical facilities and rescue operations being impromptu, unorganised and of unsatisfactory nature. Critical Care Ambulances should also be available in such hilly areas so that the grievously injured could be treated well in time. Will the enquiry into the accident be taken to logical ends and accountability established as to why en- route, there was none from the Traffic Police or other concerned personnel to check and even stop the vehicle?