I have been discussing this with almost everybody. People like me, who face terrible traffic jams in the city. They are fed up and so am I. But I don’t want to give up on this problem. It is something we all need to solve.
I have thought about a few things, like going and meeting NGOs and private companies and asking them to come together and form groups, to tackle this problem.
Individuals, who want to help solve traffic-related problem, can join these special groups and sketch out different methods and ways to tackle the problem.
Actually traffic jams are just one small part of the current traffic situation. There are bigger problems related to it – road rage is one of the most crucial of those.
Traffic jams lead to road congestions, which tempt people to break traffic rules to escape the situation. This, in turn, makes people overtake from the wrong side, upsetting drivers, who do not break rules and follow road safety norms. This leads to frustration & anger and ends up as road rage, which can be dangerous, often causing accidents, and sometimes proving fatal.
So you see, there is loss to property, loss of mental health and sometimes life. Other problems like noise pollution, air pollution, wastage of petrol, parking problems, etc. are also there.
In the given situation, driving on the roads is almost a curse.
But, we can change this situation, if we make some efforts and take some steps in this direction.
Good traffic law enforcement is essential for road safety. People need to be taught discipline. They need to obey/follow traffic rules for road safety. Traffic policing is important for a safe and efficient movement of traffic. This can be achieved by persuasion, prevention and punishment. People need to be disciplined; the ones, who do not follow traffic rules, need to be penalized. Right laws put into practice will change behavior.
Speed limits will reduce accidents. Better movement of cars will ensure peaceful ways of driving.
Despite having the world’s second largest roads network of 3.2 million kilometers; the condition of Indian roads is appalling. Burdened with the responsibility of 70% of the country’s freight & cargo,and an astonishingly high 85% of the nation’s traffic; the roads are far from safe. They are in urgent need of attention, quality-control, and safety regulation.
The accidents that take place on an alarmingly high rate on our roads spell some very scary figures.For instance, Personal Injuries sustained across Indian roads occur too frequently. The number of fatal road accidents in India is 1.8 lakh every year and increasing. Further, 350 people die &7000 people are injured everyday due to road accidents. That translates to 1,27,750 and 25,55,000 each year respectively. The ratio of Injured to Killed 1: 20. The most disillusioning part, more than half these fatalities are of people between the ages of 15 & 44 years, making them the family bread winners!
Aside from the unquantifiable emotional loss owing to people-related accidents, the sorry state of the road network also witnesses a huge amount of monetary losses. Traffic snarls, a common occurrence across towns & cities in India, causes loss of productivity. The loss of man hours and productivity runs into thousands of crores of rupees. The loss in GDP is estimated at Rs 75000 crores, being 1% of the GDP of India!
The road network conditions have reached a critical breaking point. Cities are swelling with traffic, inter-city roads are do not see proper up keep and have increasing accidents, both personal & property, and our dependence on the road network itself, for lack of other robust & efficient transport systems, despite ironically having the world’s largest rail-network; are all causes for grave concern.
One never feels safe. Be it a child going to school, an elderly grandparent taking a walk on the street, a husband driving back into the city after a meeting at an off-site, or pregnant home-maker returning from her groceries shopping. Much less, if one is moving cities and is on an inter-state highway, with family, bag & baggage in tow.
We need to delve deeper into the road-conditions and take it upon ourselves to come up with an urgent & effective set of solutions, and then enforce them.