The Yamuna Expressway Needs Our Immediate Attention. This Is Why.

We are often told to wear a helmet, seat belt, etc. keeping in mind our safety on the road. Warnings are issued to the public to not drink and drive, various PSAs have been made on road safety. But is that enough?

Will wearing a seat belt or helmet be enough when the roads itself aren’t safe? It is a matter of serious concern that our busiest roads are not safe for driving. The most dangerous example of this situation is Yamuna Expressway.

According to an RTI filed in the year 2019, this expressway in Uttar Pradesh witnessed 357 accidents till July 2019. This road connects Delhi and Agra and is a regular route for many people who toss between these two cities for work. Not much time has passed since the news of three college students losing their lives on the same route came forward. We all remember the time in winter when due to severe fog cars collide on this Expressway.

A training session for the #JaanSastiNahi campaign. (Photo provided by author)

Now, the question is why are so many accidents taking place on this road only? Is it because of rash driving or is it the negligence of the authorities? The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) had recommended installing crash barriers on the Expressway to make it safer and prevent accidents. But the situation is right in front of us, no crash barrier has been installed yet.

Presently, there is only a barbed wire separating the two lanes of the massive road. Barbed wire is not strong enough to withhold a speeding vehicle from jumping over to the other side and crashing other vehicles. A crash barrier can effectively do this work. That’s the need of the hour, many people have lost lives on this Expressway and no serious action has been taken so far.

The year 2016 witnessed 1219 accidents with 1524 injuries and 133 deaths. The data for 2017 was 763 accidents with 1426 injuries and 146 deaths. In 2018, this Expressway took 111 deaths in 659 road accidents. The accidents and death data for this Expressway is higher than any other highway in the country.

Someone has to take responsibility for this. People die, we feel bad and then get busy with our everyday affairs. We must realise that those who die in the accidents occurring on this Expressway don’t die because of the accidents. Most of the time it is the negligence on part of the government that claims many lives.

We have to make everyone aware of the danger that prevails on this road. Installing crash barriers can change something, it might save many lives in future.

Here is a petition that urges the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to install crash barriers at the Yamuna Expressway. It is a request to all of you that you sign it and make an impact.

The idea of creating this petition hit Rinki Sharma when she personally witnessed an accident on the Yamuna Expressway. She started a petition on the digital platform change.org to appeal government to make Yamuna Expressway safe besides starting sensitisation campaigns amount students, youth and other communities. Being net savvy, she believes in using digital platforms to sensitise various stakeholders.

Her Campaign #LifeIsPrecious or #JaanSastiNahi got a very positive response from across the nation and was also liked by international organisations. She has 8000+ people supporting her campaign directly and is now counting on you to sign this petition and bring some serious change.

Her aim is to make people understand the importance of their life and follow rules/regulations of road safety while on the other hand sensitise various stakeholders to improve road safety in India.

Featured image source: provided by author; Ian Brown/Flickr.
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