Just another rich man’s road kill : Traffic surveillance system needed

By: Staff Reporter

New Delhi, April 12 (G’nY News Service): India has the highest number of road accidents in the world with an average of 1.3 lakh people killed every year. (firstpost) Road infrastructure, strict traffic rules and effective surveillance system are immediate necessities to curb road accidents in India.

In the recent recent hit-and-run case, a speeding Mercedes driven by a minor killed 35 years old Siddharth Sharma in Delhi. The 17 year old minor’s father has been arrested under Sections 109/304 (abetment to culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC in the case. The juvenile was also involved in earlier cases of rash and negligent driving. (indianexpress) This is not the first such cases in India.

In the absence of well-regulated road networks, safer transport for motorized and non-motorised users and ever-expanding roadways, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) inthe number of road accident fatalities has increased from 1.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent during the decade 1994-2003 and 2004-2013. Out of 4,86,476 road accidents in 2013, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share in total road accidents (26.3 per cent) in 2013; followed by cars, jeeps and taxis (22.2 per cent); trucks, tempos, tractors and other articulated vehicles (21.1 per cent); other motor vehicles (9.9 per cent), buses (8.6 per cent) and auto rickshaws (6.4 per cent). (Ministry of Road Transport & Highways)

In 2014, out of 4,50,898 road accidents, private-owned car accidents claim 10.1 per cent of the total, killing at least 14,289 people and injuring more than 58,154. Private owned SUV and station wagons claim another 2.1 per cent which killed 3,035 people and injured at least 11,514 in 2014. More than 70,00 people are injured by private owned cars alone in 2014. (ncrb)

In India, accidents involving high-end-cars of the rich are usually lethal leading to death in most cases and yet the culprits are often un-acquitted. The alleged involvement of Akash Ambani, Mukesh Ambani’s older son in a controversial car accident in December 2013 which killed two is an unsolved mystery till date. (forbes) Bollywood actor, Salman Khan remains acquitted despite alleged involvement in the 2002 hit-and-run which killed one and injured four people. In a rueful example of justice, bollywood fraternity celebrated when he was acquitted on December 10, 2015 by the Bombay High Court. (indianexpress)

In another classic case of hit-and-run case of the rich, Sanjeev Nanda was acquitted only in 2003; four years after his BMW ran over six people and killing all of them. His jail term was reduced to just one year after exorbitant amounts of surety, compensations and alleged bribery was made. (sify)

In the most recent hit-and-run case of a speeding Mercedes-Benz in Delhi killing one, the father of the minor has been arrested. Despite such many cases, there are still lapses in legal mechanism and road regulations regarding high-end-cars on Indian roads, speeding, drunken driving and surveillance system. How many more people have to die for the government and civil society to wake up and take a step?

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