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Himachal witnesses over 3,000 accidents every year: Survey

April 12, 2018 06:03 AM


Himachal witnesses over 3,000 accidents every year: Survey
Over 1,000 Die, 5,000 Injured

Shimla: In a state where roads are the main mode of transportation with limited rail and air connectivity, successive governments have failed to make them safer for commuters. Himachal Pradesh witnesses average 3,000 road accidents each year, killing over 1,000 people and leaving over 5,000 injured.

A survey conducted by Social Welfare Council of India, an NGO, revealed that 80% of road accidents involving heavy vehicles, especially buses, in hills result from over speeding and negligence of drivers, 5% from technical failure and remaining 15% from ill maintained roads — all avoidable causes. Another study by GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute on road accidents in the state found that there were 682 black spots (where accidents take place frequently).

Monday’s school bus accident in Nurpur area of Kangra district, in which 27 people were killed, has once again put a big question mark on the safety of commuters.

“It is a disturbing fact that frequent bus accidents are taking place in the state, causing death of hundreds of people and grievous injury to hundreds more every year, due to gross negligence and non-adherence of road safety norms and provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act-1988,” said Rajeshwar Singh Negi, chairman, Social Welfare Council of India.

He said road accidents account for the highest percentage of deaths from any calamity in the state, which has the dubious distinction of topping the list of public transport accidents among all hill states in India. Bus travel is the principal form of travel in the state, as such urgent road and traffic safety measures, strict compliance of traffic rules, technical inspection of public transport, and an accountable regulating authority, need to be put in place, he added.

In a memorandum to governor Acharya Devvrat last year, the NGO had demanded that issuing of route permits, bus timings and plying schedules for all public transport be regulated, monitored and streamlined by the Regional Transport Authorities in strict compliance as per the provisions of Section 71 and 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act-1988.

Meanwhile, state transport minister on Wednesday said traffic rules would be strictly enforced in the state and special awareness campaign launched during soon-to-begin road safety week, he added.

As a special emphasis on training of drivers, their health and other parameters, health checks will be conducted from time to time and their skills upgraded

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