New Delhi: The latest road accidents data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is a wake-up call to a most important public safety hazard that the country has paid lax attention to.
According to the “Road Accidents in India 2015” report, there were 5.01 lakh road accidents in 2015, in which there were 1.46 lakh fatalities and a toll of five lakh injured persons.
May and March happened to be the cruelest months in India as far as road accidents are concerned, accounting for nearly 18 per cent of mishaps in each of the past two years, with May 2015 alone seeing 14,000 fatalities.
Indian roads witnessed the highest ever bloodbath during May last year with more than 14,000 people killed and over 47,000 injured in 46,247 crashes.
The economic losses suffered by families and the society at large by the senseless loss of working-age adults, poses another dimension to the problem.
The Indian motorist would also do well to internalize the credo of defensive driving – or “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”. But this would require an unprecedented public awareness campaign in which central and state governments and civil society collaborate.