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July 03, 2019 |

Déjà vu on roads

Thirty-five people were killed and 16 others injured Monday when an overcrowded bus skidded off a hilly road and fell into a deep gorge in Kishtwar district. Last Thursday, 11 students, nine of them girls, were killed and seven others injured after a vehicle they were on board skidded off the road near Peer Ki Gali along Mughal road in south Kashmir's Shopian district. The tragic tale when extended backwards goes on and on in time with the government showing its helplessness in saving precious lives.  Around thousand people dying in road accidents in the state is an old account, and there hardly seems to be any point to reiterate the figures, since government has shown no interest in the last several years when some of the most tragic accidents occurred. The government has been in a fix, a number of times now, as who to blame for the incidents. Even as the road safety has emerged as one of the major issues in the state, the government’s response to the surge in accidents has been typically the knee-jerk. Poor road planning, inadequate law enforcement and exponential increase in the number of vehicles has been coupled by a corresponding increase in the accident rate. Rash or unsafe driving is also one of the major causes of road accidents. The state traffic police department is yet to embark on its project to press into service Interceptor Vans to check rash driving and violations of traffic rules. The government should ensure that the measures are implemented without any further delay to check the menace of rash driving besides take a review of road conditions in stretches that are vulnerable. The exponential increase in the number of vehicles over the past decade has meant that the narrow roads are unable to cope with the burden, leading to long and frequent traffic snarls. Authorities have been alleged as issuing driving licenses without conducting proper tests increasing the risk of road accidents involving untrained drivers. In fact the prevalence of fake driving licenses is common in the valley. Barring some instances where fake license rackets have been busted, there has been no sustained crackdown on the fake license holders.  While on one hand traffic has increased manifold, the traffic department is finding itself short of the requisite manpower. Besides framing a long-term policy, authorities should work on short-term solutions to check road mishaps, like improvement in signs, lane markings and installation of surveillance cameras. Among the long-term measures, road expansion plans are going to be crucial for bringing the accident rates down.  There is a dire need to upgrade the overall traffic management practices in the state.

 

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July 03, 2019 |

Déjà vu on roads

              

Thirty-five people were killed and 16 others injured Monday when an overcrowded bus skidded off a hilly road and fell into a deep gorge in Kishtwar district. Last Thursday, 11 students, nine of them girls, were killed and seven others injured after a vehicle they were on board skidded off the road near Peer Ki Gali along Mughal road in south Kashmir's Shopian district. The tragic tale when extended backwards goes on and on in time with the government showing its helplessness in saving precious lives.  Around thousand people dying in road accidents in the state is an old account, and there hardly seems to be any point to reiterate the figures, since government has shown no interest in the last several years when some of the most tragic accidents occurred. The government has been in a fix, a number of times now, as who to blame for the incidents. Even as the road safety has emerged as one of the major issues in the state, the government’s response to the surge in accidents has been typically the knee-jerk. Poor road planning, inadequate law enforcement and exponential increase in the number of vehicles has been coupled by a corresponding increase in the accident rate. Rash or unsafe driving is also one of the major causes of road accidents. The state traffic police department is yet to embark on its project to press into service Interceptor Vans to check rash driving and violations of traffic rules. The government should ensure that the measures are implemented without any further delay to check the menace of rash driving besides take a review of road conditions in stretches that are vulnerable. The exponential increase in the number of vehicles over the past decade has meant that the narrow roads are unable to cope with the burden, leading to long and frequent traffic snarls. Authorities have been alleged as issuing driving licenses without conducting proper tests increasing the risk of road accidents involving untrained drivers. In fact the prevalence of fake driving licenses is common in the valley. Barring some instances where fake license rackets have been busted, there has been no sustained crackdown on the fake license holders.  While on one hand traffic has increased manifold, the traffic department is finding itself short of the requisite manpower. Besides framing a long-term policy, authorities should work on short-term solutions to check road mishaps, like improvement in signs, lane markings and installation of surveillance cameras. Among the long-term measures, road expansion plans are going to be crucial for bringing the accident rates down.  There is a dire need to upgrade the overall traffic management practices in the state.

 

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