Our killer roads
Post by RK News on Tuesday, December 6, 2022
These days it is quite normal for us to hear two or three people died in road related accidents. The matters of life and death are of course in the hands of God; however, this doesn’t exonerate the government of its responsibilities towards citizens. The death toll due to accidents has not stopped and the problem has become unabated and menacing. A report published in Rising Kashmir on December 4, ‘677 lost in 5189 accidents...’ attempted to put these realities before concerned authorities and public with the intent to press on the introspection and deliberation from the authorities and the government to devise effective means that would make our roads much safer for travel. Road Safety Week, high level meetings, challaning and other awareness programmes have not helped in any way as it is clear from the official stats. As per the Govt data, in the past ten months alone 677 people died in 5189 road accidents whereas the number of injured is 7152. Last year also, 774 people were killed in different rod accidents in J&K. The figures that cropped up should have prompted the authorities to translate those much-debated ideas into productive action. One would expect from the government at least a preventive mechanism if not a new policy to check road accidents. If huge money is spent on different developmental projects, one may ask why the government is losing its war against killer roads. The need of the hour is to form high level committees that would prepare a comprehensive report on how to fix the accident issue and to study the causes of road accidents. It is high time to focus on the roads that have returned into death traps. The officers who head the traffic wing should also come out of the traditional ‘glamour policing’. While holding seminars and public events helps build a speck of awareness, enforcing laws and improvement in the condition of accidents prone roads should become the top priority. Haphazard road planning, inadequate law enforcement and exponential increase in the number of vehicles has been coupled by a corresponding increase in the accident rate. Over the years, it has become a standard procedure of the administration to forget the matters till death and destruction takes a toll and then rush to the spots for condolences. When accidents do happen and the quiet respite, nothing tangible is put to avoid calamities. From squeezed highways to convoluted roads along the mountainous death traps, the travel is but without the life insurance. Rash driving and licensed amateurs compound the problems. Poor road safety awareness and the missing cops to observe the speed limits – it is not an accident, it is inevitability. What can be more worse – an accident on a highway and the nearest life saving centre beyond the reach and the realization of the injured and the victims that they will not make it, the distress call for help, for life that eventually are lost in ridges and ravines. The government as it seems has lost that ability to hear the screams of people plunging to a certain death.