How to deal with the rising road accidents in Kashmir?

In the face of an upsurge in deaths due to road accidents in Kashmir, the government has failed to take any strict measures or make any attempts to prevent them.

Tragically, road accidents in the Kashmir valley are on the rise. These mishaps have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

According to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Jammu and Kashmir ranked second in India for the number of road accidents per 10,000 vehicles, with over 900 deaths annually over the five-year period from 2014-2019.

According to the J&K Traffic Department’s statistics, over 9000 people have perished and almost 80,000 have been wounded in 56000 traffic accidents during the nine-year period from 2010-2019.

In 2018, 984 persons were killed in 5978 traffic accidents. Traffic accidents claimed the lives of 926, 958, and 917 people in 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively.

Government fails to arrest the surge of such road accidents in kashmir

What matters most is that both the government and the general public have failed to prevent such terrible and devastating tragedies.

A committee led by M Y Tarigami presented a report to the government in April 2012. It made a number of recommendations to the Transport, Traffic, R&B, and other departments in order to reduce the number of road accidents in Kashmir.

The report showed that a rise in the number of cars on the road, small and defective roads, irresponsible driving, and ageing automobiles were all contributing factors to the increase in accidents in J&K.

In 2015, the government established a ‘Lead Agency’ to serve as the nodal agency for all operations related to road safety in J&K. So yet, though, nothing has been done about it. In the same way, the government has neglected the establishment of trauma centres along the highways.

The administration did, however, make lofty promises to prevent potential accidents over the past 10 years. However, the current situation appears to be in contrast, and the government’s assertions appear to be restricted to paper only.

In the face of an increase in these events, the government has failed to adopt any stringent measures or efforts to avoid such tragedies and safeguard the lives of ordinary citizens.

What should be done to save lives on roads?

Traffic, Transport, R&B, and other government departments should prioritize road safety. To achieve total road safety, they should operate together.

Road widening, wherever required, should be completed in the shortest possible time, and a proper establishment of footpaths should also be considered.

Small and defective roads should be macadamized and street vendors should be allocated specific locations to operate.

To avoid irresponsible driving, there should be strict monitoring of the highways and other vital routes, where the traffic is significant. Also, checking license and other vehicle documents should be made a norm, at least once a month.

Ageing automobiles should be ceased and not allowed to ply, even in remote areas to avoid potential incidents of road accidents.

The government should devise a comprehensive plan to prevent such tragedies that result in the loss of valuable lives.

WHO’s warning should open our eyes

It’s worth noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning in June 2021, stating that about 1.3 million people’s lives are cut short every year as a consequence of a road traffic accident.

Non-fatal injuries affect between 20 and 50 million more individuals, with many of them suffering disability as a result of their injury.

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