Create Safe Roads in Kerala

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The state of Kerala has only 3% of India's population, but 10% of the road accidents in India happen in Kerala. An average of 11.7 people died every single day in the roads of Kerala in the year 2016, which in 2001 was only 7. Of all those who are killed in Kerala, 30% are pedestrians and 35 percentage are two-wheeler riders.

According to the road accident statistics of the Kerala Police, accidental deaths were below 3000 a year until 2003. In 2011, they crossed 4000, and keeps increasing. While 4287 people lost their lives, 44108 people got injured in 2016. 1474 of these deaths, which is one third, involved two-wheeler riders.

According to the police records, “rash and negligent driving” on the part of the drivers is the cause of road accidents in 99% of the cases. It is true that the drivers are mostly responsible for the accidents. But the government cannot place all the blame on the drivers. There have to be roads that are safe for four wheelers, two-wheelers, and pedestrians. The government of Kerala has to interfere urgently to improve the condition of our roads.

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. This includes safer living conditions. 91 percent of global road fatalities take place in low- and middle-income countries, where just over 50 percent of the world’s vehicles are registered. Road safety has become a form of privilege, but it should be a human right. We have all the tools at hand to provide every person on this planet safer mobility. 

The developed world has shown that through a combination of funding, legislation, and education, these horrifying figures can be reduced. For example, in the European Union, annual road fatalities nearly halved in the first decade of this millennium, from 54,900 in 2001 to 30,700 in 2011 — and during a period in which the population of the European Union grew significantly in size. If this can be done in Europe, it can be done in Kerala too.

1. All roads need to be cleaned and cleared at least once a month instead of doing it once a year. Roads are often invaded by grass from both sides, and also by people running shops from both sides.

2.Have the Rules and the Consequences for the Violation of the Rules Clearly Defined. Once the rules are clearly defined, it is easy for people to follow them, and easy for the police officers to find the violators. 

3. Most of the accidents are caused by head-on-collisions. In order to prevent this, there must be a divider in all the major roads. 

4. Wherever there is enough space for four lanes, let us have them.

5. If a road is not wide enough for four lanes, see if it has space for a half-lane also on both sides, which can be used by two-wheelers.

6.  If a road is too small for buses, permit should not be given for big buses to run there. If the road cannot be widened, the bus needs to become smaller. 

7. Professionally plan and maintain our junctions with a new lane at the junctions for right turns, and with a working signal system in every junction.

8. Make safe, well-paved walk-ways on both sides of the road, and keep them clean and clear all the time.

9. Have parking spaces clearly marked for buses, cars, autorikshaws , and two-wheelers.

10. Professionally plan and maintain the public transport system.

11. Right now police officers are assigned in the junctions to control the traffic, but once there is a good signal system and proper rules in place, they will be free from this. Their job will be to educate people, monitor the system, and to find the violators.

References:

http://roadsafety.kerala.gov.in/

http://www.spiderkerala.net/forum/3754-Pathetic-Conditions-of-Roads-in-Kerala-Responsible-N-Irresponsible.aspx

http://www.keralapolice.org/public-information/crime-statistics/road-accident

http://www.keralapolice.org/media/pdf/Statistics/Road/2016/rd_diffrent_vehicle_rd_2016.pdf

https://cdn2.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2014/04/10-Mohan.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jean-todt/a-call-to-action-supporti_b_9659936.html

https://www.fiafoundation.org/media/44211/mrs-time-for-action.pdf

http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_traffic/countrywork/ind/en/

http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/17 Road Safety in India - Status and Challenges.pdf



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