Road Accidents in India

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    In News

    • Recently, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) emphasized that efforts by all are necessary to reduce road accidents by 50 percent before the end of 2025.

    About

    • Efforts of MoRTH: 
      • It has undertaken multiple initiatives across all 4Es of Road Safety by: 
        • Engineering, 
        • Enforcement, 
        • Education and 
        • Emergency Care.
      • This year, the Ministry observed the Road Safety Week (RSW) from 11th to 17th January 2023, under “Swachhata Pakhwada”, to propagate the cause of Safer Roads for all.
      • It is committed to reduction in road fatalities and injuries.

    Causes of Road Accident in India

    • Over Speeding and Undisciplined Driving:  Approx  50000 accidents in India are on account of over speeding.
    • Motorization and Urbanisation: Are also the main causes of road crash fatalities. 
    • Faulty Road Designs: Lack of caution signs, big potholes, illegal speed breakers.
    • Ineffective and Inefficient road regulations: Due to lack of caution signs, big potholes, illegal speed breakers.
    • Encroachment of Road: Unruly road congestion caused by hawkers disrupts normal movements of vehicles.
    • Laxity in Driving License Regulations: Lax procedure in obtaining a driving license
    • Inefficient Public Transport: The paucity of end to end public transport and its inefficiencies in India leads to the public opting for private vehicles. 

    Impact of Road Accidents

    • Social effects of Road Traffic Accidents:  Include loss of productivity of the victims, the cost of the legal system, burden on the health sector and loss of quality of life.
    • Economic Effect: As per UN report, reducing road traffic deaths and injuries could result in substantial long-term income gains (Fair movement of goods, Logistics). India loses 3% of its GDP due to road accidents.
    • Burden on Women: About 40% of women reported a change in their working patterns post-accident (More responsibility, more burden of family)

     

    Image Courtesy: TH 

    Laws and Initiatives

    • Global Initiatives:
      • Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety (2015): Adopted at the second global high-level conference on road safety held in Brazil. (India signatory to this) 
      • International Road Assessment programme (iRAP): A registered charity dedicated to saving lives through safer roads. 
      • Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030: Sets an ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
      • Geneva Convention: India, being a signatory to Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (Geneva Convention). 
    • Indian:
      • Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act: The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was brought in to improve road safety in India by amending Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
      • The amendment Act has introduced heavy fines for various offences
      • 3-Year Action Agenda of NITI Aayog: Highlighting the Standardising the reporting of accidents & action map thereafter.

    Way Ahead

    • A law should be brought in the country to determine the working hours of truck drivers.
    • Similar Programmes like the telethon and outreach campaign “Sadak Suraksha Abhiyan” needs to be launched to make people aware about Road Safety
    • Vehicle design and Road infrastructure need to be as per the safety standards.
    • Proper training & capacity building is the need of the hour.

    Source: AIR