Road accidents are one of the main causes of loss of life. As per WHO around 1.24 million people died due to road accidents worldwide in 2010. That means almost one person getting killed in road accidents every 25 seconds. In India too we are not lagging behind. We had 1.37 Lakhs road fatalities in 2013 and afraid that it will increase in 2014.
Image Credit: Nissan.in
Whether we accept or not the main attribute of such Himalayan loss of life is quite simple. Sounds absurd? It is true. The hard fact is that most of the road accidents occur due to serious violation of road safety rules by both the drivers and the pedestrians.
So, something has to be done if we care for human lives! But what is that? Should we stop driving? Or the pedestrians will stop coming out of their houses? None of these can solve the problem. As in every problem, here too the solution lies in the problem itself!
That is; why there are fatal accidents? Most of the modern vehicles are loaded with many gadgets to ensure safe driving. Still accidents cannot be averted. But why? Don’t we have a duty to our fellow countrymen, be him another motorist or a poor pedestrian?
The crux of the problem is that we have done many things but never kept our countrymen at the center of the policies. We have never cared for them; the pedestrians. According to the Ministry of Urban Development almost 30% of the commuters in our country are pedestrians who are the real vulnerable road users.
There are overhead bridges and underpasses all involve climbing stairs. But no thought was given to the cause of the veterans, blinds and handicapped. While the normal people have trouble in using those how can these people use that? At least we must start thinking now and plan to make ramps for easy use of all pedestrians. Till such ramps are completed we must have roads with good footpaths for safe walk and designated pedestrian crossings with signals.
Recently the people of Lucknow took the pledge of never to drive after drinking and such movement should be spread in all cities of our country to eradicate this social evil that cost so many lives!
We must ask ourselves if we have proper training to drive. Unfortunately the honest answer is a blunt ‘NO’. Most of us use the shortcut route to get a driving license with the help of the motor training schools. This practice has to be stopped and stopped for ever and we must implement rigorous standards for getting and renewal of driving license, if we really want to increase our road safety level.
Having driven throughout the length and breadth of the subcontinent, it is the personal experience of this writer that unnecessary high speed driving is also another main attribute of fatal accidents. Who is going to control the youths? Social ways can hardly make any success. But if a small country like Sweden can implement installation of Intelligent Speed Adaptation System that helps automatic recognition of the speed limits by the vehicle and provides signals when the limits are exceeded; why we, with so many imported vehicles, cannot do the same? We are already late and should give a serious thought to this before the situation goes out of hand.
Our drivers must be trained to understand that raising the speed from 48 kmph to 56 kmph simply doubles the chances of crashing or hitting someone. Some conceptual changes can be effected by simulation of driving process.
The biggest problem the drivers face at every intersection is multidirectional traffic. We need a little bit of planning to have roundabouts at every crossing to make the traffic unidirectional at each crossing.
Our mode of advertising is also against safety rules. We have no control on the dazzling hoarding, signs and displays all over, at our own free sweet will, on both sides of the road. Have we ever thought that these could distract the motorists? No. But we must be concerned and fix minimum height of displays beyond the vision of the drivers as another measure to enhance road safety condition.
None can deny the importance of having good surfaces with improved alignment and super- curvature at every turn, green channels and different lanes for speedy and slow vehicles. So, what we are waiting for? Should not we start implementing all these?
Last but not the least; there are always violation lovers in every society. To stop them from frequent lane changing, the lanes should be marked with dense ruble strips to stop them. But who will bell the cat? The Legislation can impose rules, infrastructures can be made and movements like The Nissan Blue Citizenship campaign may try to enrich the lives of the people for enhancing safety measures to attain a sustainable society. At the same time the administration has to be efficient enough to implement what is best required for road safety.
With a pledge to increase the level of road safety awareness, Nissan is expanding its Nissan Safety Driving Forum throughout the Indian subcontinent and currently holding road safety programs to show people various aspects of road safety.