#RoadSafetyWeek: Startling Facts About Road Accidents in India
The number of road accidents in India is twice as much as in China. This is despite the fact that China exceeds India by 99 million in terms of people and vehicles.
Shocked? About 400 people die on Indian roads every day, making the country notorious for the world’s highest fatalities in road accidents.
It is always devastating to lose a loved one to an accident, and more so when it is due to inefficient or delayed care. And this is exactly why Piyush Tewari founded the SaveLIFE Foundation to bring about better road safety laws in India. Tewari lost his cousin brother to a fatal accident.
As an awareness programme, National Road Safety Week is observed every January. This year, 11-17 January has been marked as the #RoadSafetyWeek.
Tewari filed the a petition in the Supreme Court, after which the new Good Samaritan guidelines were adopted.
The Government’s initiative to spread awareness on Road Safety is welcome but we hope this will pave the way for long pending reforms in road safety. The Road Safety Bill sits ready with the Government and I hope they will mark this occasion by committing to introduce the Bill in the Budget Session.Piyush Tewari, Founder and CEO of SaveLIFE Foundation
Here are some startling facts about road accidents in India.
India’s daily death toll from road accidents is more than four times the annual death toll from terrorism.
In 2013, 2,045 children were killed in crime incidents including murder, infanticide and foeticide. In the same year, 16,901 children were killed in road accidents (nearly 725 percent more than the deaths due to crime).
There have been a large number of incidents where drivers have lost control of their vehicles, leading to overturning or falling into gorges.
Traffic police in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai have been conducting sustained campaign against drunk-driving in response to high-profile cases. It is another matter that many more people are killed on railway tracksthan on roads in Mumbai due to inadequate safety measures.
Economic losses incurred from road crashes in 2014 could have funded the Central assistance for development of 847 smart cities.
The annual cost of crashes in India could be around 3% of the GDP. According to data released by the Planning Commission, the GDP for 2014-15 was Rs 126 lakh crore. Thus, cost incurred from road accidents would have amounted to Rs 3.8 lakh crore.
The annual road crash deaths are three times the total casualties caused by terrorist violence for the past 27 years, which is 225% more than the fatalities in terrorist attacks in the past 27 years.
India does NOT have an effective speed limit law in place according to the report by the WHO, for the simple reason that it does not meet the road safety strategies in spite of most states having their respective Road Safety Policies.
So, this #RoadSafetyWeek, let us begin with a pledge to be safe and follow rules.