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Road safety week - A customarily episode
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh2/9/2019 10:32:53 PM
Safety is a state of mind and accidents are an absence of mind. We have to ensure that safety on road is not just confined to slogans but it is to be adopted as a way of life. Road safety week is a national event aimed at raising public awareness about traffic rules and ultimately to reduce casualties due to road accidents. Here we have to understand that vehicular traffic means the number of vehicles moving along roads whereas traffic on roads may consist of pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, street cars, buses and other conveyances, while using the public way for purposes of travel. Millions lose their life and millions get injured in road accidents globally; mainly, due to lack of awareness about traffic rules or a behavior of flouting them. The traffic claims countless number of deaths every year and there are number of causes for this agony, such as bad condition of roads, vehicles, over speeding, drunken driving, racing, and fiddling with music players, conversing on cellular phones, lacking use of helmets etc, but above all the issuance of driving licenses by the concerned authorities in a most corrupt way. Whenever a major accident takes place the local administration, politicians land on the accident sites with battery of official vehicles and ministers' perch from flying machines to shed crocodile tears making big announcements of bringing reforms in this sector and again hibernate in their holes for rest of the time till next tragedy.
Road safety is emerging as a major social concern in the country. For the last some years we find that traffic police in collaboration with RTAs are focusing on the road safety and every year a week is dedicated to this cause brandishing it as 'Road safety week' to make people more aware of the traffic rules and to persuade those to follow rules while on road. The observance of the 'Road safety week' has become more customarily episode than a result oriented event and existing loot and corruption both in Traffic police and Road Transport Officers may be one of the reasons. We remember the words of Road, Transport and Highways Union Minister Nitin Gadkari finding space in December 2015, terming the regional transport officers (RTOs), as the most corrupt in the country and said they indulge in loots bigger than those of dacoits of Chambal.
The 30th Road Safety Week 2019 is being celebrated in India from 4th February to the 10th February. During the 'Road Safety Week', awareness sessions are held to educate commuters and drivers of public transport vehicles about the need to follow rules. Motivational speeches are delivered to aware everyone to follow the rules of traffic to create consciousness among public and drivers. To govern and regulate the vehicular traffic laws and the informal rules that have developed over time are there to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic. To manage and regulate traffic a fully fledged separate wing of police department in every state is there, what we often observe and see that this department has turned out to be a uniformed group of highway extortionists extracting money from drivers plying on the roads. When we look on the roads of J&K, we find group of this fraternity scattered on the roads after every 20 kilometers stopping the vehicles and collecting money in the shape of daily sops, weekly and monthly fixtures. This is never possible without the blessings of senior hierarchy of the department including their mentors sitting on musical chairs in the government. Many times we find postings uploaded on social media exposing them openly minting money but we never find any outcome of tall claims of the seniors to curb this open loot on roads. During the week end many rallies are managed by the over enthusiastic private schools putting minor children on roads carrying placards. The RTAs too holds some program confined in the recreational halls with selected audience and traffic week is celebrated by amusing themselves through local folk artists dancing on the rhythm and songs composed on traffic safety. The traffic police become conspicuous on every crossing, congested areas thereby creating a panic among the common man. What a way of awaking the public about safety on road? Here are some suggestions to the local administration, traffic police and road transport authorities to focus their attention on these points to make the traffic safety week worthy of it:
1. Aware the public about the events which disrupt the flow and may cause traffic to degenerate into a disorganized mess that include road construction, collision, and debris in the roadway.
2. All road users must be guided by the objective of enhancing road safety and must pay heed to the legitimate directions and suggestions of traffic police personnel and observe traffic norms and regulations.
3. People in India's political sphere do not have the will to curb traffic accidents. There is general lack of respect for traffic rules and it is a contributing factor for road accidents.
4. Drivers indulge in receiving or making cell phone calls, when at driving seats. The public should be awakened to rebuke such defaulters in the moving vehicles.
5. The bad driving habits of Indian people required being curbed through driving schools and they should focus on youth to enhance the art and skill of efficient driving. The driving schools are merely outlets to issue learner's license a pre requisite to go for driving license.
6. Speed is one of the main problems on roads and law enforcement has the power to reduce it. Obtrusive law enforcement can have two effects. First, there is a preventive effect: passing drivers notice enforcement activities and most of them will slow down when seeing a police patrol. Second, there is a repressive effect for detected offenders; they either receive a warning or a notice. The police can choose to optimize one of these two effects.
7. Traffic control is one attempt to solve the problem of a human survival on the roads in our mechanical and electronically era. The basic purpose of the police traffic wing is to protect road users. This kind of protection demands from the Traffic Police, particular knowledge of different planning and assessing police road safety process, special education and training programs, special police tactics, traffic control devices.
8. Traffic police is one of the main traffic law enforcement services. To control traffic and traffic direction are the main tasks of the traffic police. Therefore traffic police should be specialized in traffic enforcement only rather than to checking of documents, a responsibility of RTAs and Mobile Magistrates.
9. A clear cut strategy required establishing and well communicating to all ranks. It is based on selective enforcement which is defined as enforcement proportional to traffic accidents with respect to time, place, type of violations, violators.
10. The public at large is to be motivated to help injured persons in road accidents by taking them to nearby hospitals and by informing the police. One would not be asked to be a witness in the case or otherwise put to any inconvenience.
11. Although the driver of the motor vehicle responsible for a road accident is duty bound to take all reasonable steps to secure medical attention for the injured person by conveying him to the nearest medical doctor or hospital but it is required to be made practical until it is not practical to do so on account of mob fury or any other reason beyond his control.
12. The medical fraternity should be educated to prioritize the attendance of the injured without looking for the legal formalities.
13. A fool proof system required to be placed for issuance of the driving licenses that is still porous and money minting in nature and
Concluding it is not out of order to pen down that customarily speaking and awakening the public merely in a week cannot help in maintaining road safety for the rest of 47 weeks, when these weeks are fully devoted to money minting session both by police as well as RTAs, by closing the eyes towards traffic violations in full swing throughout the period.
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