24 October, 2020

OPINION: Wrong Policies Will Lead To Thousands Of More Deaths On Indian Roads

India will pay a heavy price for ignoring WHO's Report on Traffic Injury Prevention, writes Dinesh Mohan

OPINION: Wrong Policies Will Lead To Thousands Of More Deaths On Indian Roads

In 1930 a committee on road traffic accidents submitted a report to the government in USA  which stated that “Attention of the whole nation is sharply focused on the increase in road traffic accidents, which in 1929 was more than ten percent”. The report went on to recommend that emphasis be given to safety education in the schools, accident spot maps to be used primarily to detect points at which accidents occur most frequently, improve driver education and increase penalties for traffic law violation. Similar reports were submitted in many European countries in the next few years and most countries implemented the suggestions. However, road deaths kept increasing in every single country all over the world well into the 1970s.

It is for this reason that some road safety scientists in the 1960s started getting very worried that nothing was working. Pioneering work in that period by some of the best minds revealed that just focusing on driver error, more severe punishment and public education was the wrong way to go. The focus shifted along with a paradigm...



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