Raftaarzaade

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In the first Global Status Report on Road Safety (2009), the World Health Organization (WHO) identified road accidents as the “biggest killers” across the world, which will assume an endemic proposition by 2030. It also recognized that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world. In their second edition, The Global status report on road safety (2013) confirmed that road traffic injuries remain an important public health problem despite progress in a number of countries including India. About 1.24 million people die each year on the world's roads. Each year nearly 400 000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads – on average more than 1000 a day. The report estimates that more than 231000 people are killed in road traffic crashes in India every year. These are solid statistics which shout out to us to think seriously about a topic which is otherwise neglected - Road Safety

The below pie chart elaborates the deaths on road according to the user category. It is clearly seen that 2-3 wheeler riders and pedestrians form a shocking 46% of the total deaths. A heterogeneous mix of vehicles on the roads of a developing country like India where high speed vehicles share the road with vulnerable users might be a reason for it. 




It’s not that nothing is being done for road safety in India;

THE BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY PROGRAMME

India is one of the countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010-2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations. The focus of the project is on promoting motorcycle helmets and reducing drink–driving. The project is being implemented in; Hyderbad, Cyberabad and Visakhapatnam. Source: WHO


ACCIDENT RESPONSE AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CELL, MADHYA PRADESH

This system integrates emergency response with Intelligent Transportation Systems for the benefit of public. The operational systems use data warehousing and analytics to identify the nearest facilities with the required support functions. Along with the dispatch and real-time navigation of emergency response vehicles such as ambulances, cranes, etc, and using camera based video surveillance of traffic flow, the system works with complete operational intelligence making automated decisions and advises. Victims therefore can always count on fast help and support. Source: ArriveSAFE


NISSAN SAFETY DRIVING FORUM

With a motto Safety begins with me, Nissan simulates road safety in their forums. The simulations include a 360 degree turn over which highlights the use of seat belts. Started as an annual activity in 2012, The Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., conducts the Nissan Safety Driving Forum (NSDF) in India as part of its safety driving promotion. Under its Blue Citizenship CSR umbrella, NSDF by Nissan works to build awareness of safe driving in India. NSDF encourages drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts, and participants learn through interactive activities the importance of wearing seatbelts. Source: Nissan


THE ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY BILL, 2014

The government had also proposed a new Road Safety bill a couple of months ago. The bill proposes a fine of Rs. 5 lakh per vehicle as well as imprisonment for faulty manufacturing design, besides cancellation of licences for rash and negligent driving according to the Times Of India. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has come up with Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014. Once it is approved and becomes an Act, the current Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, will be replaced by the new Road Safety Bill.

As a popular Tyre company advertises, ‘Streets are filled with idiots!’ On road, no matter how safe you drive, you cannot ascertain your safety because you never know when and where a drunk driver hits you. The government declares that steps are being taken to ensure road safety but the extent to which the safety norms are implemented are to be measured. Not just making laws but ensuring their strict implementation is what I think will make the roads safer to travel on. A panel should be formed which would monitor, evaluate and advise possible improvements and developments throughout the nation.

The following points should be considered on precedence, 


INFRASTRUCTURE 

Roads should be built to be safe. Workshops should be conducted in order to educate and ensure road safety while building new infrastructure. Research should be done on how roads are being built in other nations who have successfully implemented a road safety infrastructure. Reviews should be done to identify errors in construction. The errors should be corrected so as the design is compatible with the road safety norms. Good quality materials should be used to produce durable and pothole-free roads. Proper footpaths, zebra crossings should be made for the pedestrians to be safe. Road blocks, Indicators, signals also form a very important part in infrastructure. 


IMPLEMENTATION 

Rules should be made charge the culprits heavily. Drink driving is not only harmful to the driver but also lethal to other people using the road. Breath analyzers should be used to detect the drunkards. A strict implementation will definitely reduce the negligence amongst people. Road safety weeks and seminars should be organised to spread awareness amongst people to wear a helmet and follow other traffic rules. The rules enforcers are often spotted without a helmet which gives the public an excuse to escape from wearing a helmet. People should be educated that they are being forced to wear a helmet for themselves and not the government. Licenses should be given after proper examination of the candidate. 


ADS AND MARKETING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA 

The government should work with the media to spread awareness amongst the people to drive safe on road. Media is a powerful tool which the government can use to educate people. Social media can used to popularise basic traffic rules amongst youngsters who will in turn share them with their friends. 


IMBIBING DISCIPLINE 

Finally, even if you design a perfect rule book and build magnificent roads, it is the people who have to be disciplined on road. Every driver should drive with a sense of responsibly towards other on the road. You can charge a huge fine and even put the culprit in jail but what about the ones who suffer?

It's up to you to take an oath to be a responsible citizen who protects and abides by the rules laid down by the government. Below are some more stats to take Road Safety seriously this day and ever after.



For more statistics scan the following QR Code, 


P.S. This blog post has been written to win the Nissan Safety Driving Safety forum organised by Indiblogger and Nissan.

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