Pune, unfortunately ranks among the cities with the highest number of road accident deaths. In India, one life is lost every four minutes caused by road accidents.
The road transport ministry reports suggest that speed breakers are the cause of 30 crashes every day, killing close to nine people a day. As many as 175 riders have lost their lives since January 2017 and more than 500 people sustained severe injuries.
To address this alarming issue, a section of Puneites recently held a silent march to protest on the frequent accidents occurring in the city. These residents claimed that as many as 1,039 major and minor accidents have happened on the road so far in 2017. The number of accidents was 913 in 2016.
Addressing this issue, we talked to citizens to understand the practical issues they face while driving that are often believed to be the reason for the increasing number of road accidents.
Shreya Chakraborty: Faulty placements of speed breakers, badly demarcated roads and errant signals are also reasons for the accidents being fatal especially for two-wheeler riders. This sometimes misguide the driver leading to a fatal or life threatening mishap and the weird part is that even after paying road and other taxes, we are bound to drive on these bumpy pothole-filled roads injuring our back and neck. During the monsoon, it only gets worse as people can’t even judge the road .
Rohan Singh Bishen: The safety of a driver is on his own hands. Innumerable times we have seen that thanks to helmets and seat belts many lives have been saved but still only a handful of people are seen wearing them. Even if they do, they do it with the fear of being fined. This is critical and mandatory for youngsters like us who often drive rashly, but also risk the lives of others on the road. Also, officials need to be on their toes all the time. If people do it with fear, then let there be fear created throughout the year. It’s time for the authorities to intervene and implement strictly.
Sakina Godhrawala: I often see people parking vehicles on the road with their parking lights ‘ON’, often blocking a crowded street. Don’t they understand that it is already crowded, and they are making the situation worse. I think places like the peth areas and such crowded areas should not permit the entry of three and four wheelers. Moreover, if any accident occurs due to the lack of traffic management, the entire area gets clogged for hours. Secondly, people don’t have patience while driving. They even have an issue stopping at the signals, behaving as though they’re driving a racing car to reach the finish line, in just the last two minutes. Failure to do so mostly takes a life. Also, most of the traffic signals are not even working, and if they are, the timer on them isn’t.
Justin Mathew: I believe wearing helmets and following traffic rules is basic, mandatory and the need of the hour. By doing this we can save many accidents. It is just that people need to be more alert and active. Most often, people don’t maintain proper distance between them and other vehicles while driving. This is problematic for both the drivers. Over loaded two and three wheelers are also something that needs to be checked.
Surabhi Vasan: The major problem for drivers is during the night. Many streets in Pune are not properly lit and accidents due to lack of visibility is obvious. Many pedestrians lose their life to such road accidents that occur due to lack or bad lighting. Also, people always drive with their bright beam causing partial visibility. Head lamps should be partially covered with black film or paint to avoid such incidents. Lane cutting, lack of blinkers, lack of foot-over bridges, drunk driving and such causes lead to fatal road accidents.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them,
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