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Road Accidents Are Increasing In Assam. How Can We Change This?

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Road safety is a growing serious concern in recent years. As per reports, the numbers of road accidents are increasing day by day. There are several reasons for road accidents. Therefore, it’s becoming very crucial to make zero accident possibilities, but it can only be controlled or minimized. Road safety is the need of the hour, where we all need to join hands together to make it happens.

Meanwhile, road safety is important for all road users. According to statistics provided by Youth Ki Awaaz, more than 150,000 road-accident related deaths in India occurred in 2017 alone, more than 17 people die every hour in India due to road-related accidents. Also, a Times of India report says, road deaths in India increased to nearly 1.49 lakh in 2018.

According to the report Road Accidents in India 2016 which was released by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Assam stood first in the northeastern region, having the highest number of accidents with 7,435 accidents. The available road accident data for the past few years is indicative of the growth in road accidents and fatalities in Assam.

Year No. of Accidents No. of Fatalities No. of Injuries
2012 6535 2291 6709
2013 7211 2441 6609
2014 8872 3058 7787
2015 6959 2397 7068
2016 7435 2572 6127

The data furnished is also indicative of the severity of the crashes: 35 persons killed per 100 accidents.

Assam’s roads have  been termed ‘unsafe’ by a 2013 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report; with 50.4% deaths in Assam caused by road accidents, the state has crossed even the national average of 36.4% for 2013.

Meanwhile, the scenario has been changing in a positive way. The recent data produced by The State Road Safety Council, under the chairmanship of Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary of Assam, says that the total number of road accidents in Assam has reduced by 25.15 per cent and the numbers of deaths have come down by 2.74% in the past one year.

The data revealed that that the total number of accidents and fatalities from April to May 2018 were 1830 and 548, which have come down to 1370 ( – 25.15%) and 533 ( – 2.74%) from April – May 2019 respectively. In this regard, the road accident data of 2018 showed that 3963 accidents (48.05%), 3389 injuries (45.95%) and 1541 fatalities (51.95%) occurred in the National Highways.

Road Safety Initiatives In Assam

According to the sources of PWRD, Assam; under the Road Safety Management Component of World Bank-aided Assam State Roads Project (ASRP) has initiated a number of activities for improvement of Road Safety on its State Highways and Major District Roads. This has been done.

  1. As per the scope under the Assam State Roads Project.
  2. As per Assam Road Safety Action Plan (ARSAP) and direction of the State Road Safety Council.
  3. In compliance with the direction of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety (CoRS) issued from time to time.

The transport department of Assam governmentt has also released the guidelines and awareness programmes to the people for road safety from time to time which helps to create awareness on road safety and all aspects of traffic rules, elaborates on road safety and traffic awareness programmes. The state government also follows the steps taken by the government to prevent road accidents.

Also, Assam has its own road safety policy to ensure safer roads and transports for the people and create awareness among the people on road safety. It is also an initiative to minimize road accidents.

A car met with accident after its driver lost control and hit 2 other vehicles at Kopar Khairane in Navi Mumbai, 2018. (Photo: Bachchan Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

How Can We Make Roads Safer?

Road safety is a prime concern to focus on. Therefore we need certain ways and processes to maintain road safety. It’s our duty and responsibility too, to make roads safer for everyone. One person alone or the laws or government can’t bring road safety in reality, it’s a collective process. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. We can prevent accidents by taking preventive measures.

1) Overspeeding is the major cause of road accidents. Therefore, control of the vehicle is more important than speed thrills. It is especially important to lower speed while nearing schools, on narrow roads, hilly areas, rural areas and when visibility is poor. Wet roads and speed is a perfect recipe for an accident.

2) Traffic rules have been designed with safety foremost in mind. It takes into account safety for all, including pedestrians. So, obeying traffic rules is highly important.

3) A driver must be aware of road psychology. Along with traffic rules, road psychology can also minimize accidents. A driver is always aware that an unsafe drive will take their or someone’s precious life. Also, preference is to be given to pedestrians and children crossing the road.

4) Wearing seat belts and using helmets are life-saving. It protects against serious injuries like on head, neck and chest by minimizing the risk of injury and keeps the passenger in place.

5) Never drive under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. It is also illegal and can result in the driver being imprisoned if found guilty. Also, avoid driving when sleepy or tired as both cases have similar effects on your level of attentiveness and reaction time to make peaceful and safer road journey.

6) Although this tip seems to be the most important, having a well-maintained vehicle can go a long way in terms of making your drive safer.

7) Two-wheeler owners in India must find its extremely liberating to be able to squeeze through tiny gaps in traffic congestion. However, what they don’t realize is that it takes one bad decision on their or other motorists’ part for there to be a major accident. So, avoid swerving between lanes.

8) This is probably the first road safety rule that is taught to children at a very young age. Before crossing a road, make sure that there is no one coming from either direction. It’s important to note that this should be practised even on one-way roads, just to be doubly certain that no one is driving in the wrong direction.

9) Learn to anticipate road behaviour. Being cautious and predicting what an oncoming motorist will do before crossing a road not only makes it easier to know when to cross but may also save your life someday.

10) Defensive driving is more about common sense than anything else. It is easy to remember most of what is written here. So, the more people driving defensively, the safer it will be out there.

In concluding remarks, I would like to add that to make road safety programmes more effective, here is the need for four essential factors.

1) Well-designed roads, the signage, the safety infrastructure that is in place for road users can highly minimize road accidents.

2) Vehicle design and safety features can save lives in the event of an accident. Good technology, coupled with the driver’s understanding of how to use it, can do a lot to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

3) Good driving as well as trained drivers, with a good understanding of the various risks that are present on the roads, are perhaps the most essential component of road safety because almost every accident occurs as a result of human error.

4) Enforcement of rules and regulations regarding traffic rules, driving and its proper implementations and practice is also highly needed around the road safety programmes.

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