‘Multi-pronged approach needed for road safety in India’

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) A multi-pronged approach, including better roads and law enforcement, is the need of the hour for India which reports more than 100,000 road accidents annually, experts said Friday.

“Road safety is not the domain of the government or citizens, it is a social responsibility which has to be shouldered by all. Prevention is the best way,” said M. C. Misra, director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 137,000 people died in road accidents in 2013.

Misra said drunken driving and driving while listening to music are some major causes for accidents.

“If you don’t have the right to walk, you don’t have the right to public transport. If you don’t have the right to public transport, you don’t have the right to clean air,” said Sunita Narain, director at Centre for Science and Environment.

Misra and Narain were speaking at a panel discussion ‘Road Safety in India’ as part of the seventh annual conference on trauma at AIIMS. It was attended by foreign delegates from the US, Australia and Israel.

“Traffic police have checked me only twice in the last 30 years. There should be no manned interface for issuing challans, it should be automated,” said Misra.

“In western countries, every traffic violation will result in a ticket irrespective of someone watching or not. I was fined in Dubai for driving at a speed of 63 kmph on a lane which has a speed limit of 60 kmph,” he said.

The application of western research to the Indian conditions is wrong, said Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education and director of College of Traffic Management.

“We believe in foreign research…We have to build our own indigenous research. Roads should be designed well, a lot of research goes into designing roads.” Baluja said.


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