Someone was killed in the last 3 minutes...
Someone was killed in the last three minutes or so. And another one will lose their life on the Indian roads by the time you finish reading this.
While efforts are under way - amendments to motor vehicles act, a law for good samaritans and a strong political will - the number of road accidents has not come down. We are still losing as many (or marginally different number) lives every minute, every year, as before.
Survivors and friends / family members of those who have lost lives prematurely are suffering deep trauma. I shudder sending my son out on bicycle. Or when I am walking on the left side of the road, and there's no pavement, fearing someone will hit me from behind, yet again!
Civic agencies are focusing on their job - one laying the road, the other digging a hole to lay a sewer-line, and the third one cutting across the freshly-laid road to provide electricity connection - without talking to each other. Traffic Police has severe shortage of human resources. There is no standard operating procedure. No one has a role to ensure road safety. Result - potholes, traffic jams, unduly shrunk roads, unusable pavements and so on.
Laws are in place. Who will implement? Historically, implementation in India is a bigger challenge than laws. Yes, you and I need to follow the law, but we need a road-safety authority in every state to prioritise road safety, ensuring standard operating procedures for the civic agencies, and hence ensuring safer roads.
The absence of a local road-safety authority is felt more than ever before. I believe that if there's an institution or an individual leading road-safety as a role, you and I will feel much safer on the road.
This is an appeal to everyone to support this petition, asking Hon Minister for Road Transport and HIghways, Mr Nitin Gadkari, to instruct every state to set up road safety authority.
Families and friends of road crash victims will come together to remember their loved ones, and make this appeal in person to the Minister on 20 Nov 2016 - the World Day of Remembrance 2016.
- Hon Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Govt of India
Shri Nitin Gadkari
Shri Nitin Gadkari
Hon Minister for Road Transport and Highways
Hon. Minister Gadkari,
Survivors, friends and families of road accident victims have come together in big numbers to share their pain, and fear with you. Every day, nearly 400 are added to this horrifying list of people whose lives are shattered beyond imagination.
Thank you for your efforts on strengthening the Motor Vehicles Act. It is reassuring. But far from effective implementation.
We all know that a number of things contribute to road safety - driver's behaviour, drunken driving, badly designed roads, poor maintenance and so on. Quality of road is perhaps the top-most problem. Sir, we are facing one of the worst crises ever on city road infrastructure, which is crippling by the day. More vehicles are being added on the roads than before. Cities are getting crowded. We need road infrastructure that not only serves this growing population of vehicles and people, but also prioritises 'safe commuting'.
Every year, rains erode our badly constructed roads. Sporadic patchwork has been ineffective, and mostly disruptive. Majority of city roads have turned into potholes and craters, claiming lives of pedestrians and bikers. Citizen groups, newspapers and media have been raising this for months now and there has not been any marked response from the responsible departments.
Civic bodies in cities are doing what they are mandated to do. Some are more efficient than the other. They are working to provide different amenities namely roads, sewer, water, electricity etc. But no one has a mandate of 'safe roads'.
We urge you to kindly instruct states to set up institutions or individual leaders with mandate of road safety, who supersede the authority of the civic agencies - mainly to lay SOPs, do audits, approve or reject projects and proposals with intention of road safety.
We, a group of friends and families of road-crash victims would like to meet you on behalf of a huge number of families who are going through this deep trauma, and present a formal request on the World Day of Remembrance on 20 Nov 2016.
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