A well-known tire brand in their advertisement said “The roads are filled with idiots”, and this line basically sum up the traffic scene in India. The traffic gets crazy and the people even crazier, and somewhere in between this madness, hundreds of people lose their lives every single day.
Reports state that on an average, there are about 400 deaths every single day on Indian roads, and this figure could very well be under-estimated considering the large population of the country and a number of deaths which go unaccounted for. Every day on an average, there are about 400 deaths on Indian roads. To create public awareness about road safety, the Transport Directorate is observing the 6th Goa Road Safety Week, from September 19 to September 24. But is observing a week of road safety sufficient?
The Fault in our Safety?
The roads that provide a network of connectivity and a means of progress has also become a death trap for several. But where does the fault lie? Does it lie in the many potholes that decorate the road, like ornaments that decorate a Christmas tree? Or does it lie in the rash and negligent driving by motorists? Or maybe it lies in the lack of knowledge of traffic rules?
“The main reason for fatalities on the road lies in the rash and negligent driving by individuals. Also, many young children start riding the bike at a young age, resulting in their death at a young age. Driving under the influence is also another cause of concern,” expresses Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector of Mapusa R.T.O., Abhay Savaikar
Although the reasons for concern over road safety may vary, many individuals expressed the major cause of concern to be the Goan roads. Gaston Gonsalves, a 21 year old student at GSIT, Karwar reckons that the roads play a major role in causing chaos on the roads. “The bad maintainance of roads and the potholes create a nuisance for motorists. People try to avoid these potholes and in-turn manage to slow down the traffic and also cause accidents.”
Anzil Fernandes, Assitant Professor at St. Xavier’s College shares an incident that occurred on 20th September afternoon at Mapusa city. “The road was dug up right in the middle and it was near the old Municipality building of Mapusa, which is a spot for traffic congestion. There was no signboard, no red cones or signs of caution put up, making it a hazardous spot for motorists. It was only after a few local braved the rain and held a protest and demanded the officials to put up a sign of caution, was the work actually taken up,” shares Fernandes.
He also adds that the government needs to do a reality check apart from observing the road safety week; if the roads continue to be in such a state, we will need to ditch helmets and get body armors instead
Don’t drink and drive
Drinking under the influence is a major cause for a number of deaths. Rash and negligent driving also contributes to several deaths. “Drinking and driving is another cause of concern and there should be a strict check upon it”, says Davino De Souza, from Cuncolim.
Solutions to the problems
The problem can be addressed in several ways-
- Keep a strict check on rash and drunk driving- Keeping a check and taking strict action against rash and drunk driving will ensure an increase of safety on the road.Keep a check on minors riding/driving- keeping a strict check on minors riding/ driving will ensure less fatalities of youth. “Police should occasionally patrol areas in villages to keep a check on children without licenses riding/driving”, shares Gaston.
Educate children in road safety- introducing classes of safety will help create awareness of rules and precautions to be taken. “There are many things we learn in school that we may never use practically, but a subject like road safety will definitely be used practically”, says Denver Gracias, a 17 year old student.