Experts in India believe road traffic fatalities could be lowered with proper planning and implementation of rules.
India has only 1% of the world’s vehicles but 11% of the global deaths from road accidents occur in India, according to a report by the World Bank released earlier this year.
About 450,000 accidents take place in India annually, of which 150,000 people die.
“India has the highest number of casualties in road accidents,” said the report. “There are 53 road accidents in the country every hour and one death every four minutes.”
On the eve of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims observed Sunday, Piyush Tewari from Save Life Foundation said most road fatalities are taking place because of flawed road designing and engineering.
“Weak enforcement of traffic laws, lack of rapid trauma care and bad road-user behaviour are other reasons for such a large number of fatalities on India roads,” Tewari told Anadolu Agency.
Save Life Foundation is a non-profit organisation committed to improving road safety and emergency medical care across India.
The other aspect of fatalities is that India has the second-largest road network in the world, after the US and its large network of roads requires a significant amount of enforcement activities. New and smooth roads being built all over the country lead to high speeds and improper behaviour and the group has suggested that there should be an intelligent management system deployed every 100 kilometres (62 miles).
“So some sort of traffic rule violation deterrent should be in place as we can’t deploy a lot of personnel. But we can use technology to ensure that roads are safe,” according to Piyush.
His organisation has recommended that the government should identify specific locations on highways and upgrade them so that they can serve as at least stabilisation centres, if not treatment centres, and accident victims could survive their travel with better facilities.
Poor quality of helmets used by two-wheeler riders
But Anurag Kulshrestha, president of TRAX, a non-profit organisation working toward road safety, said that in a country like India, poor quality helmets used by two-wheeler riders are one of the reasons for the high number of fatalities.
“Greenery in between the dividers in major roads which obstruct the view of drivers is also one of the reasons for fatalities on such a scale in India. In the case of international scenarios, roads must be 180-degree visible.” Anurag told Anadolu Agency.
He claimed that India is spending almost 30 to 40 times more money than developing nations on development “but we are creating unsafe roads and going for a senseless development.”
Experts believe that drivers in India should be given some form of training that would help control fatalities.
“Road users’ behaviour is very problematic in the country and that is because a good percentage of drivers have not been to any formal training programs,” said Tewari, adding that we must give them some form of training.