India's road safety questionable with over 70% two-wheelers plying on road without insuranceसौरभ राय
A Supreme Court panel recently lashed out at the Centre and the states for lack of coordination even over collection of data on road accident victims. The committee on road safety said that “India has the dubious distinction of leading the world in road related accidents and deaths” and there is no coordination between the central and state authorities.
The three-member panel, headed by former apex court judge K S Radhakrishnan, said “as per the figures published by the (Union) Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, the number of persons killed in road accidents in the year 2013 was 1,37,572. The accuracy of the data published by the government of India is questionable since the data submitted by the state government to the committee shows the number of deaths as 1,42,011.”
Pointing to the discrepancy in the numbers, the panel said there was no uniform pattern to collect data and asked the government to establish a methodology for collecting and reporting data that ensures accuracy.
Accordint to PTI, the committee also comprised of former secretary in Surface Transport Ministry and TERI fellow S Sundar and former Chief Scientist of Central Road Research Institute Dr Nishi Mittal.
The panel, which completed a year of working on May 14, said that it found no cooperation or coordination between various ministries like Health, Education and transport in addressing the issues of road safety. It also said that an “alarming situation” which has come to light, was that 70-75 per cent of two wheelers plying on the road were without any insurance.
Further, there were “serious lapses” in all the states in implementing road safety laws and measures, the committee members said in an interaction with reporters. A serious concern that emerged from meeting officials of various states was there was no uniformity in identifying “black spots” or location of repeated accidents, the panel said, adding that there was a need for drawing up a protocol to identify such black spots.
It is estimated that around 1.5 lakh people die on the streets of Indian cities every year, and over a crore get hospitalized.
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