In a shocking revelation, a data from ministry of road transport and highways shows that with 2,610 deaths, Uttar Pradesh witnesses the maximum number of child fatalities because of road accidents in 2015. Thus, road accidents kill seven children in UP every day and of these one-fifth suffered as pillion riders or commuters.
“The incident highlights the urgent need to promote road safety,” said Prof Ajai Singh, chief of pediatric trauma department, King George’s Medical University. “Children below 14 suffer because an adult was not driving responsibly,” he added.
The impact of road traffic mishaps is yet to be taken seriously in India, said road safety activist and founder of Shubham Soti Foundation Ashutosh Soti. This can be measured from the fact that road accidents account for 83.8 per cent of all traffic-linked accidents.
“If reckless adults are responsible, lax policy makers are to be blamed equally, especially if you look at the law implementing systems in developed countries,” he said.
On the other hand, director, operation, Save Life Foundation, Saji Cherian, sought stricter action for traffic offenses involving children, regulation of school buses, vans and other motor vehicles that are used by the children for commuting.
Above all, the drivers and conductors need to be defined in law and strictly enforced. “The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill which was introduced by the government in August last year has provisions for protection of children but is languishing with the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC). We hope that the PSC submits its report at the earliest so that Parliament passes the Bill in the upcoming Budget session,” he said.