June 14, 2016

The Uncivil War on India's Killer Roads and Systemic Death Trap

Visiting Fellow, Shankkar Aiyar in this The New Indian Express article argues that "the tragedy is about lives lost, about families disrupted, about careers interrupted and about aspirations incapacitated. What must anger Indians is that the script has not changed for the past 15 years. Consider the data to appreciate the magnitude of the crisis. Between 2000 and 2015, governments have registered 1,649,770 accidents and 1,039,372 fatalities. And over 50 lakh persons were injured, many handicapped and traumatised for life...

 

More people have been killed in accidents than in war, terror attacks or Maoist violence. Arguably, more lives have been claimed by India’s roads than by global attacks of terror in the past decade. Last week, the Government of India released the Road Accidents 2015 Report, which informed Indians that between 2005 and 2015, the total number of accidents have increased by 14.2 per cent, killings by 53.9 per cent and injuries by 7.5 per cent...

 

...there are enough indicators where the system is failing and flailing. Over 77.1 per cent of total road accidents during 2015 were caused by drivers’ faults—quite obviously the licensing process is flawed. In a country where most cities can boast of less than 20km/per hour travel, speed is a major killer—64,633 out of 106,021 deaths in 2015 were caused by speeding—a reflection of poor policing and inadequate use of technology. Every second accident or about 49 per cent of the total mishaps of 2015 took place at junctions—without doubt populism and politics have led to flawed design, and poor facilitation has made pedestrians and travellers vulnerable...

 

The question is what has been the response of the system to mitigate what is clearly a human tragedy..."

 

Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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