As per “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2013” a report published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs, India reported 4.75 lakh road accidents in 2013 with a death toll of 1.37 lakh. As many as 5.09 lakh persons were injured in road accidents during the year.
Likewise every citizen is aware of alarmingly increase indiscipline of roads, which causes hundreds of small accidents in a city and many times turns into street brawls ending with injuries, which are sometimes serious in nature.
Taking this issue in public interest a delegation of Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) led by its president J. P. Sharma met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and also submitted memorandum.
J. P. Sharma appreciated that with continued efforts by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Government is soon to overhaul the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill whereby if anyone violates the road rules more than three times, his driving license will be suspended for six months and if he continues to violate after that, then the driving license will be cancelled. VTA is very sure that once such laws are implemented, they will drastically reduce the number of road accidents and deaths. However the only flaw we see is that if one licence is cancelled, the lawbreaker will apply at another city and shall get another driving licence and this may continue unabated as presently we have no system to cross check such discrepancies.
Under such circumstances VTA suggested that we need Driving License Authority of India or similar which will have centralized data of all cities including rural RTOs, by this alike passport one person can avail only one licence. Then only true fear of loosing license will bring much required discipline of our roads.
Tejinder Singh Renu, secretary of VTA said our country needs strict traffic penalties and punishments, as currently no one fears the present law and until we have stringent punishments, discipline on roads cannot be achieved. Our own men while visiting overseas follow norms seriously because of harsh rules and penalties in those countries.
Renu also suggested that CCTV cameras of high resolution and good aperture for night recording on strategic locations are a must. Nowadays it is a standard practice to book heavier vehicle amongst the accident, which means, it is assumed that in all accidents, it is always the fault of the larger vehicle. This situation can only improve when cameras record the incidents and we have the actual event recorded to book the person at fault, irrespective of the size of vehicle.
Renu also pointed out that the report published by NCRB specifically mentions that maximum number of accidents and accidents deaths (55%) are reported between 1800 hrs to 2100 hrs; from this we assume the cause most likely is due to use of high-beam headlights both in cities and rural areas, which cause temporary blindness to the oncoming drivers. Headlights in vehicle come in low and high beams, and propriety demands that the latter are to be used only when required. Unfortunately, many a time, drivers often forget to switch over to low beam. Unfortunately presently there is no provision under which RTO or Traffic Police can penalize such vehicles which are continuously driving with high beams in city during night, hence appropriate provision has to be inducted in the system/law to tackle this major accident friendly problem.
After patiently hearing the issues submitted by VTA, Transport Minister Gadkari informed that we have already collected data of all driving licences of the country and have found 30% of them bogus. Moreover soon we’ll have high-tech centers at all places which will be outsourced and they’ll be authorised to handle all RTO related work which will eliminate corruption. He also assured that this High Beam issue is new to him and after gathering more information & data on this, appropriate steps will be initiated by Transport Ministry.
Also present is VTA delegation were Hemant Trivedi and Praveen M. Agrawal – joint secretaries and executive body members Amarjeet Singh Chawla and Rajesh Kanungo.