by Aamir Altaf
Jammu and Kashmir rank’s second across India in the tally of 10000 vehicles with an average of over 900 deaths every year.
Road accidents are common in India and take almost thousands of lives every year. According to a Union Ministry report, there is a steep rise in the number of pedestrians killed on roads with 1.5 lakh pedestrians killed in the road accidents touched an all-time high in 2018; an increase of 3500 compared to 2017.
According to the World Health Organisation 2018 report, “India has 01 per cent of the world’s vehicle but accounts for 06 per cent of the world’s road traffic accidents.” Likewise, as per Ministry of Road and Transport 2018 report, “India’s young productive population aged 18-45 years are involved in 70 per cent of road accidents.”
Also, as per 2017 WHO Global Health estimates: “Road accidents are one of the 12 most common causes of deaths in India; ninth most common causes of premature deaths and 10th most common reason for disability.” In 2018, in India of all the road accident-related deaths, the most were of those riding two-wheelers (36%) followed by pedestrian (15%).
If we particularly talk about Jammu and Kashmir, in 2018, the number of road accidents was around six thousand. Traffic discrepancies have been a major source of death, injury and damage to property every year. In 2018, over speeding of vehicles was the main reason for road accident casualties in Jammu and Kashmir.
As per the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Jammu and Kashmir rank’s second across India in the tally of 10000 vehicles with an average of over 900 deaths every year. As per the figures provided by Jammu and Kashmir Traffic Department, over 9000 people have died and almost 80000 got injured in 56000 road accidents in the last nine years.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the data of September 2018 shows:
On Sep 11: Motorcyclist killed, two other injured in North Kashmir road accident and on the same day youth from Srinagar died in road accident in Kathua;
On Sep 13: Three were killed while five got injured in road accident in Udhampur;
On Sep 17: A driver was killed and conductor injured in Ramban road accident.
On Sep 19: 55-year-old women was killed after a speedy truck hit a motorcycle in Srinagar;
On Sep 22: Two women were killed after hit by speedy vehicle in Rafiabad and on the same day, three people were killed while four were injured in Doda road accident;
On Sep 24: A man was injured after hit by a light vehicle.
On Sep 25: Two sisters were killed and two injured after ambulance turns turtle in Qazigund;
On Sep 26: A youth got killed in Warpora area of Budgam after his vehicle turned turtle;
and on Sep 29: One person was killed and other injured when tipper rolled down in Magidararead of Ramban.
For the last decade, the government made tall claims to prevent such incidents. However, the government’s announcements have been confined to papers only. In April 2012, a committee headed by M Y Tarigami submitted a report to the government. It had come up with a slew of recommendations for the transport, traffic department, Road and Buildings, and other departments for curbing the growing road accidents. It had found an increase in the number of vehicles, narrow and faulty roads, negligent driving, and ageing vehicles among the reasons for growing accidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the nodal agency to coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in Jammu and Kashmir. However, nothing has been done in this regard so far. Similarly, the government has also failed to set up trauma centres along the highway.
Here are a few recommendations to prevent road accidents:
- Enforcement of traffic regulations and awareness regarding road safety measures is essential for preventing road accidents
- Awareness programmes should be organised with the active involvement of youth so that they can sensitise their parents and friends regarding road safety measures and regulations which can help in improving the traffic management system of JK
- Unique three Es formula regarding road safety measures that is Engineering (proper road infrastructure), Enforcement (of traffic rules ) and Education (Awareness among masses) need to be focused on for preventing traffic accidents
- There should be proper transparency in schemes like accident victim fund that gives a corpus of one crore to the victim
- Road Accident Data Management System (RADMS) must work properly to ensure actionable inputs and prevent accidents
- In order to reduce fatalities and death’s effective post-crash response shall be a greater help as such creating network of Trauma Health care facilities on National and State, Highways shall be the policy of the government
In order to improve road safety, it shall be the endeavour of the government to provide safe transportation, infrastructure, systematic improvement of safety for impaired /elderly and children shall be ensured during the mobility
- Operation of the smart transportation modes with GPS tracking system and CCTVs by the public, private transporters shall be encouraged
- Fine collected from traffic violators shall be used to improve roads
- To improve communication system available with police and other emergency services as a means to reduce time and to assist in planning and implementation of traffic Aid post scheme.
- (The author is a political science student at Aligarh Muslim University. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)