According to the Institute of Road Traffic Education, India sees 15 deaths because of road accidents every hour and 342 people die each day. The WHO’s global status report on road safety also states that India tops the global list of deaths in road accidents with 125,000 fatalities and at least 2.2 million serious injuries each year. The country accounts for 10 percent of global road accident deaths. That is an appalling record to say the least. A plan to stabilise and then reduce road traffic fatalities globally by 2020 was launched in India some time back along with 100 countries under the UN decade of Action for Road Safety. But nothing seems to be working on the ground particularly when it comes to the state of Manipur.
With the coming of the new government last year the state transport department has been taking up several effort to check the illegal driving in the state but the real safety for the commuters can never be assured. It is not only the commuters but the condition of the road structures is quite evident that our roads have become extremely unsafe. Driving under the influence of alcohol and other illegal substances and gross violation of various road regulations is another factor but traffic police inability to absorb train personnel remain as the most challenging factor. After the announcement of the strictures by the state police, the man on duty were seen busy stopping the vehicles at every nook and corner of the Imphal streets without knowing that their action has cause serious impact to the already deteriorated traffic system in the state. It is an open secret that some the man on duty charge irrelevant fine checking the way the vehicle registration number plate are being put which is no way relevant to the cause of road accident or traffic flow. They even wasted the time of the vehicle rider by troubling them for not being the name on the Registration book, which is allowed by the law of the land.
Many times the problem of the road mismanagement has been highlighted to draw the attention of the higher authority but nothing seems to be taken up. Even after knowing the reality of the traffic condition the government still do not appoint a separate superintendent for the traffic police. It is a known fact that except for 5 or 6 policemen in the traffic management department none of them are trained and well qualified to tackle the situation. It is time that the government think the matter seriously before the situation goes even more deterioration.
- Published in Editorial