Online RTI Application for Bad Roads, Traffic Jams and Right to Information Act 2005 -₹299/-
In India, its estimated that on an average 1279 people die in road accidents. Number of vehicles in India are just 1% of the world’s but it has 6% of deaths worldwide. A big reason of road accidents is bad road conditions, pot holes and poor enforcement of laws. There is hardly any meaningful training before issuance of driving licenses. Everyone knows how easy it is to grease the palms of Touts at Regional Transport Office (RTOs) to pass the test easily. There are touts waiting for you at RTOs. Then there would be hardly any poor commercial driver who would not have faced humiliation at RTOs.
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Once, on open stretches of roads people unleash their animal spirits and just want to turn their cars into jet engines. But poor souls fail to understand that roads on which they are driving have come up with bribing to numerous netas and babus and just cannot bear their high speed adventures. They also fail to understand their sub Rs 10 lakhs cars do not have enough safety features to provide them cushion nor can handle impact of high speed collisions.
Not only Government has not set specifications and safety features high for car manufacturers but also there are no designated test centres to evaluate crash impacts of cars from time to time.
There are no proper training of drivers before issuance of driving licenses. People learn driving or riding from their friends and family members on open stretches of grounds and roads. For commercial drivers, case is even worse. They learn driving from ‘ustaads’ as ‘cleaners’ at ridiculously low salaries. These salaries cannot provide them good nutritious food for two times. Friends and ustaads are not professional trainers and do not pass on basic road etiquettes and traffic rules to their disciples. You cannot expect such learners to be good drivers in future.
Once people ‘learn’ driving, they head up to RTOs where they get to meet touts and corrupt babus. There are no automated testing centres nor any serious testing of their driving skills at testing centres. Instead licenses are easily available by briberies at many places. In certain states, scene is further grim as they issue paper licences with photo of driver pasted on it. Such licenses are also made and sold by touts for petty sums of money and lakhs of commercial drivers hold such licenses.
Loss caused by road accidents is not emotional but economical too. India looses 3-5% of its Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to road accidents. Most the times lives lost in road accidents belong to 18-45 years of age group. This is the group which is responsible to contribute the most to country’s GDP and also their families and bringing up of their children. When families get devastated by untimely death of earning members, children too loose hopes of great future in absence of financial support for their education and healthcare.
Dying is only one aspect of road accidents, its different paradigm for those who are severely injured or are disabled for lifetime. There are hardly any meaningful public healthcare facilities outside major cities of India. So many middle class families too cannot afford private healthcare for critically injured relatives. So many families plunge into lifetime poverty affording treatment of dying relative.
These days Police personnel have erected zig zag barricades all over Delhi and other places. They do so to ‘contain spread of corona virus’ and that is their explicit motive. They jump in front of moving cars and trucks to stop them for violating so called norms. This way they not only endanger their own lives but also of those occupants of the vehicle. Several times such cops die under wheels, many times they jump on to bonnet and cling on holding wipers. Few months ago people died while travelling in ambulance carrying their sick kid. A cop had jumped in front of truck and it had to slam brakes resulting in ambulance crashing into it. At so many barricades during night, police personnel can be seen flashing high beam torches into eyes of truck drivers indicating them to stop and still they don’t stop or do hard braking. They can note the registration numbers of errant drivers and send challans at their given addresses and people too can pay it online. However, this is not cop’s implicit motive, rather they stop drivers then and there so that they can ‘negotiate’ fine amount.
Indian police forces are not known as honest people anywhere in the world, instead, they hold bad image in minds of general public. People feel uneasy when cops are around instead of feeling safe. Truck drivers extend their hands out of their windows and cops extend their hands to have a ‘handshake’ and that’s it, both carry on with their tasks.