by VR Sreeraman on  October 12, 2008 at 1:16 PM General Health News
 India Surpasses China in Fatal Road Accidents: Report
With 130,000 deaths last year, India tops in the number of people killed in road accidents, surpassing China's 90,000. And, most of these deaths occurred due to bad road designs and lack of proper traffic management systems to separate different streams of traffic, says a report in The Guardian.

The Geneva-based International Road Federation estimates that India already accounts for about 10 percent of the million-plus fatal accidents in the world each year.

This has prompted a government review into traffic safety, which, until now, has been best summed up by local drivers as "good horns, good brakes, good luck", adds the report.

The Government is also considering a range of new measures such as making air bags and anti-braking systems mandatory in all cars. Lorries may also be fitted with speed breakers in a bid to bring down fatalities.

Motor experts say that new laws will have little effect in India, where seat belts are rarely worn and where no one can anticipate with any certainty the behaviour of the average road user. "You need laws and you need to implement and enforce them. That is the tricky bit in India. Sure, make cars have seat belts, but can you make people wear them? That's the bit we have to answer," the paper quoted motoring writer Murad Ali Baig as saying.

Rohit Baluja of Delhi's Institute of Road Traffic Education said: "The real issue is not car design but road design. About 85 percent of all deaths on the roads are pedestrians and cyclists, not drivers. We do not design traffic management systems to separate different streams of traffic. In America this began in 1932."

Baluja called for "proper regulation of driver training and licensing" to prevent members of the public buying licences through bribes. The lack of knowledge about road basics is illustrated by the fact that there are 110m traffic violations a day in Delhi alone, he added.

Source: ANI

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