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Himachal

Posted at: Sep 14, 2017, 12:13 AM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 12:13 AM (IST)

Road safety council sought to curb road fatalities

Road safety council sought to curb road fatalities
A man stands near the wreckage of a private bus after an accident at Ghannahatti near Shimla. A file photo

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 13

Expressing concern over spurt in road accidents in the state, Social Welfare Council of India (SWCI) has demanded setting up of State Road Safety Council and raise in ex-gratia compensation.

Chairman of the Council, Rajeshwar Singh Negi said, “The Council is deeply disturbed at the frequent bus accidents, mainly involving the public carriage of the state Himachal Road Transport Corporation as also private buses, causing death and inflicting grievous injuries on hundreds of people due to gross negligence and non-adherence of road safety norms and provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act-1988”.

“Buses have become death traps in the state and the failure to either address or take adequate preventive measures by the state transport authorities is highly deplorable. Six major bus accidents have occurred during the current year. Despite availability of requisite technology and sufficient resources, such devaluation of precious human life is against the spirit of responsible governance and public welfare”, he said.

Alleging that the government has abdicated its responsibility regarding ensuring passenger safety and confined its role to performing the ritual of ordering an enquiry after every major accident and paying compensation. No sincere efforts have been made to reduce the accidents.

He said a regular checking of buses should be done and the driving licences of heavy vehicles should be revalidated at regular intervals.

Plying of ordinary and big buses in narrow perilous roads in the interior areas should be strictly avoided.

The state government has a list of black spots vulnerable to accidents but not enough efforts have been made to ensure that such spots no longer remained prone to road mishaps.

President of Institute of Road Traffic Education Dr. Rohit Baluja said that drunken driving, over speeding and overtaking, bad condition of roads and conditions of vehicles are also responsible for accidents to a large extent. It was also observed that 90 per cent of the signages were not as per the standards, he added.

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