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To Save Children dying from Road Accidents, Recommend and Ensure a Strong Road Safety Law and Child Safety Law!

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MORE SCHOOL CHILDRENS DYING IN ROAD ACCIDENTS

In India, an accident happens every 60 seconds and every 3.7 minutes, to be precise, a road mishap snuffs out a life.

Driving on India’s roads could be as dangerous to life.

Road accidents also create enormous losses to the exchequer. India loses $20 billion due to road accidents annually which is enough to feed 50% of the nation’s malnourished children.

Road accidents have left nearly 70 children dead and many injured since the start of 2013. More than 60 students were also injured in 11 accidents spread over seven states since January 2013 till July this year. In all instances, the victims were travelling in school buses which were either hit by other vehicles or trains or rolled down mountain slopes.

More disturbingly, a large number of deaths from road accidents are borne by “vulnerable road users” such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The burgeoning middle class, access to easier credits and an array of vehicles to choose from have all led to overcrowding of roads and its consequent chaos.

 “Road traffic crashes are a growing health and development concern affecting all nations,” said Dr. Margaret Chin, WHO’s director general, suggesting that it is important to have an action plan for an intensified response.

Although the country has speed limits for all types of roads and well-defined norms for alcohol content in blood for all drivers, detection of violations is very low. On both the counts, the enforcement is as low as “three” in a scale of 0-10 whereas neighbors like Singapore has scored seven points.

Road traffic injuries take an enormous toll on individuals and communities as well as on national economies.

India not only has the dubious distinction of having one of the worst road accident records in the world, but that these are taking more and more young lives, particularly of school children.

Most of the accidents to school kids took place in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Telangana.

In one of the worst disasters, 19 students were killed and some 20 injured when their school bus was smashed by a speeding train at an unmanned rail-road crossing in Telangana Thursday. The dead included the school bus driver.

Although the number of school children is a miniscule part of the total number of Indians dying daily on the roads, activists say most accidents are avoidable.

Two accidents this year injured 12 school students. The first took place May 12 in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, injuring two students. Ten students were injured in adjoining Noida April 29 when their school bus was hit by a state-run bus.

Three children died when their school bus collided with a truck at Malkapur in Maharashtra Jan 10 this year.

Six students lost their lives on the Solapur-Dhule highway while on an excursion in Maharashtra

In an accident in Tamil Nadu's Pudukottai district in June 2013, a mini van collided with a bus, killing seven school children.

Another seven children died when their bus fell into a gorge in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district in April 2013.

In July last year, 11 students were killed and 20 injured when their bus hit a truck in Rajasthan's Hanumangarh district.

Another school bus-truck collision in Jalandhar in Punjab March 4, 2013, left 11 children dead.

These figures indicate how grave the issue of child safety was in India.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 20 children under the age of 14 years die daily in road accidents in India. Many cases go unreported and doesn’t catch the eye of the media too.

Still, India has no child safety laws!! Under child safety laws, children should be provided helmets and seat belts, and an adult should be posted on all school buses to supervise them and check errant drivers.

A RTI-based study found that deaths while going to schools rose in 2012 by 39.25 percent.

The only law governing road safety in India, the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 has not been effective. The amendment proposed to the law in 2012 does not solve the current situation on Indian roads.

 We need a new law that includes:

  >Protection for children, pedestrians and cyclists during commute

  >Increased enforcement

  >Mandatory road safety education

  >Transparent and efficient process for getting a license

School buses should be put in a special class of vehicles, like an ambulance.

School Bus License should be a Special Category License prompting many areas of child safety and should be renewed annually.

Special category would bring in three distinct benefits.

"First, it will ensure that there is a strong procedure to check on the licensing.

"Second, the drivers will be required to undergo training and will have to renew their licence each year.

"Third, there will be certain safety standards such as seat belts, low floor buses in place," he said.

India has only about one percent of the world's vehicles but accounts for 10 percent of the world's road accidents.

Road accident death happens in every four minutes in India and about 380 deaths occur every day, equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing daily.

Road accidents and fatalities have never grabbed attention, while 2,000 people dying annually in terrorist acts becomes a national issue.

WHY SHOULD WE ALLOW INNOCENT INDIAN CHILDRENS DIE IN ROADS BECAUSE OF THE MASS IGNORANCE OF ADULT COMMUNITY AND WHY CANT WE BRING A STRONG ROAD SAFETY LAW AND CHILD SAFETY LAW, said Anand Ayyakalai Mariappan, Founder and Trustee of “Worldwide Differently Abled Peoples Foundation”

We Cannot Let More People Die Just Because There Isn’t An Effective Law In Place.

Join Us In Requesting Our President Of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee To Support, Recommend & Ensure A Stronger National Road Safety Law To Be Introduced It In The Parliament.

 



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