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ROAD ACCIDENTS are very common these days. In fact, road accidents are one of the twelve most common causes of deaths in India, the ninth most common causes of premature deaths and 10th most common reason for disability according to the 2017 WHO Global Health estimates.

If we take into account Jammu and Kashmir, in particular, traffic discrepancies have been a major cause of death, injury and damage to property every year. In 2018 over speeding of vehicles was the main reason for road accident casualties here.

As per data available regarding the road mishaps which took place in parts of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the month of September, an accident occurred every day or every alternate day in the last month.

For over a decade, the government has made tall claims to prevent such incidents. However, the government’s announcements have been confined to papers only. In April 2012, a committee headed by M Y Tarigami submitted a report to the government. It had come up with a slew of recommendations for the transport, traffic, R&B, and other departments for curbing growing road accidents. It had found an increase in the number of vehicles, narrow and faulty roads, negligent driving, and ageing vehicles among the reasons for growing accidents in J&K.

The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the nodal agency to coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in J&K. However, nothing has been done in this regard so far. Similarly, the government has also failed to set up trauma centres along the highway.

Enforcement of traffic regulations and awareness regarding road safety measures is essential for preventing road accidents. Awareness programmes should be organised with the active involvement of youth so that they can sensitise their parents and friends regarding road safety measures and regulations which can help in improving the traffic management system of J&K. In order to reduce fatalities and deaths, effective post-crash response shall be of a greater help as such creating a network of Trauma Health care facilities on National and State highways.

Amir Altaf

aamiraltaf16@gmail.com  

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