Banihal road accident
Post by RK News on Thursday, September 14, 2023
In a tragic road accident on Tuesday, four persons including two siblings were killed on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. The fateful accident happened when a truck in which they were travelling in got hit by a boulder at Wagan area and fell into a deep gorge near Sher Bibi. Over the years, road accidents in the UT have become an alarming issue that continues to claim lives and cause injury. While nationally, road safety has seen an increased focus, it is evident that more robust measures are needed in Kashmir. The unique geographical and climatic conditions of the region, coupled with infrastructural challenges, necessitate a targeted and holistic approach to road safety. One cannot deny the role topography plays in the high incidence of accidents in Kashmir. The Valley’s hilly terrain, narrow roads, and unpredictable weather conditions often lead to tragic mishaps. However, these natural challenges should not be an excuse for the high accident rates. Instead, they should provide the impetus for devising strategies tailored to Kashmir's unique conditions. One such strategy is the development and maintenance of infrastructure. Many roads in the hilly region, especially in the rural areas, are in dire need of upgrade and regular maintenance. This includes widening of narrow roads where possible, better signages, installation of guardrails in accident-prone areas, and ensuring roads are kept clear of snow during winter months. The government should prioritize these infrastructural improvements with the same zeal it has shown in promoting tourism in the UT. Also, education and awareness play a crucial role in preventing road accidents. Initiating awareness campaigns about the importance of adhering to traffic rules, understanding road signs, and responsible driving should be undertaken. Schools and colleges could incorporate road safety education, providing early exposure to these crucial life skills. Furthermore, strict enforcement of traffic rules is paramount. Over-speeding, drunk driving, not using seat belts or helmets, and other forms of traffic rule violations are rampant and contribute to the high accident rates. There is a need for stringent enforcement of rules and hefty penalties for violations. Improving emergency response services in case of major accidents is very crucial. Rapid response to accident sites can significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries. This includes well-equipped ambulance services, trained paramedics, and advanced trauma centers in hospitals. Preventing road accidents in UT is a complex task requiring a multifaceted approach. It is an urgent issue that calls for the concerted efforts of the authorities, civil society, and individuals alike. Every life lost in a preventable road accident is not just a statistic but a tragedy that affects families and communities. For the sake of our people, our tourists, and future generations, let's steer towards safety and make Kashmir's roads a safer place.