Looking at the Accident Data Compels One to Ask Why Not Introduce Traffic Rules for Primary Schools in India

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  • As one among the millions of commuters in the country and more so in an extremely congested city like Bengaluru traversing on the perennial traffic bottlenecks, counting blessings to reach safely from home to destination and back is a daily chore. This chore must surely be followed by millions of commuters like me who would dread to ride/drive on the wretched roads where one must encounter deathly potholes apart from the increasingly suffocating traffic snarls. A mere commute of a few kilometers taking hours makes one go mad at the irony of calling a world-renowned city our home when basic amenities like safe and commuter-friendly roads are in short supply.

PC: India Spend

  • To pile on the misery, increasing accidents on the road will only further depress sane beings. No wonder, road rage incidents are also on the rise. Remember, any accident occurring on the road is synonymous with several factors other than slow-moving traffic. Too many people are dying on India’s roads as too little attention is paid to wearingly familiar factors. As such, the death count is growing by the year. It is shameful to note that India leads the world in road fatalities. Unfathomably, the transport ministry’s 2022 report calculates road accidents claimed a whopping 19 lives every hour. Crashes claimed around 1.68 lakh lives, a 9.4% increase over 2021’s corresponding figure. Injuries have shot up by 15%. Two-wheelers accounted for 45% of fatalities.
  • And 67% of victims were aged between 18 and 45. Accidents are a leading cause of death for a major portion of India’s working demographic. If the above statistics are not depressing what else would be? The Road Accidents in India 2022 report cites every year, speeding, wrong-side driving, not wearing seat belts, and potholed roads as key causes of fatalities. No surprises there. Reckless driving is frequently on display by two-wheeler riders on all roads. Some initiatives like tire killers, speed-breakers with a slope on one side and metal spikes on the other, installed to control wrong-side driving in Noida some years ago spectacularly failed as one person would hold down the spikes that would puncture tires of vehicles on the wrong side of the road (and the law), while the driver hauled the two-wheeler over the speed-breaker.

PC: egkmall

  • But such experiments have helped some in Ahmedabad and Pune. Not much though. Indeed, it is established that road accidents are multi-causal. Road design is key here. Countries with higher speed limits have fewer than a fraction of India’s fatalities. What’s the reason? Faulty road engineering, poor designing of junctions, inadequate signage, and haphazard planning of state highways and city roads/lanes all play a role in causing accidents – these factors are well known. Most importantly, utter disregard for following traffic rules and well-established road discipline are also important factors. With the gig economy of delivery workers, the largest number of users of two-wheelers for work is ever-growing.
  • From 68 lakh in 2020, the gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30. The fact of the matter is we simply lack traffic discipline. This being the case, why not introduce the teaching of traffic rules right from the primary school itself? Deserves definite consideration for sure.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.