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Make helmet, seat belts compulsory All about road safety

On paper the State Government seems to be doing something. That is if one goes by what Transport Minister Dr Kh Ratan Kumar had to say about the road safety measures taken up by the State Government. Significant to note that the measures taken up were spelt out during the first meeting of the Group of Ministers constituted to deliberate on issues facing the transport sector across the country. The figure, as trotted out by the Minister does not seem that alarming, that is one death due to road mishaps every two days. This figure must be way lower than the figures that one sees in other States. However this still does not fully answer the question of how effective has the Government been in tackling the incidents of road mishaps all over the State. With vehicles increasing each year and the roads becoming more and more crowded, the number of road accidents is bound to go up. Nothing much that the State Government can do with regard to the increase in the number of vehicles, but what steps have actually been taken up to ease the traffic flow ? How about road safety measures ? How well trained are the traffic personnel for manning the roads in Imphal and other towns of the State ? These are but some of the questions that come to mind. Like in other parts of the country, here too road accidents increase during times of festival and one just has to read the daily newspapers to understand that road accidents see a quantum jump every Yaoshang festival. This despite the strict vigil taken up by the police to check rash and drunken driving.
True road safety cannot be the sole responsibility of the Government, for a lot depends on how willing the people are in adhering to the laid down rules and regulations of the traffic police. However this still does not mean that the Government should not be questioned on what steps it has taken up to promote road safety and look for ways to avoid deaths and serious injuries. So far the Government does not seem to have taken up any steps to make helmets compulsory for two wheeler drivers. This is absurd, given the fact that most of the deaths occur due to serious head injuries. What is stopping the Government from making helmets compulsory for all two wheeler drivers ? Moreover what is stopping the Government from making the safety belt in cars compulsory for all drivers and those sitting in the front ? Apart from this, there is nothing much to suggest that the Government and its agencies have cracked down hard on underaged driving. Not uncommon to see young students zooming around on their fancy two wheelers and this is something which should be dealt with seriously. Penalise the parents and elders of the minors who zoom around on their fancy two wheelers. Make helmets compulsory and enforce the seat belts rule and regulations. Such steps will go some way in giving more substance to the understanding of road safety.



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