By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 9: As per a report published by the Transport Research Wing of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the country has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of road accidents during the last few years and in the case of Manipur, around 23 people die for every 100 accidents as per the report.
According to the report titled 'Road Accident in India 2017', a total of 4,64,910 road accidents occurred in the country in 2017 during which 1,47,913 people died while another 4,70,975 people sustained injuries.
According to the said report, Manipur witnessed 538 road accidents in 2016 and 578 in 2017 during which a total of 81 (2016) and 136 (2017) people died.
The report explained that in 2016, a total of 15 people died for every 100 road accidents and in 2017, 23 people died for every 100 accidents in Manipur.
As per the report, head on collision ranked at the top when it comes to road accidents and the rate of accident was the highest at T junctions with Y junctions coming a close second.
On the other hand, two wheelers suffered the most number of road accidents followed by trucks, cars, taxis, buses and autos.
66 percent of the road accidents were caused by over-speeding and in 2017, 156 accidents occurred due to over-speeding which led to the loss of 42 lives.
The report continued that the rate of accidents in rural areas was more than the urban areas and most of the victims belong to the 25-35 year range.
The report further informed that 325 accidents occurred along the National Highways of the State in 2016 (46 dead) while the number was 372 in 2017 (97 dead).
When it comes to the State Highways, 117 accidents occurred in 2016 (117 dead) and 144 in 2017 (144 dead).
As per the report, out of the total road accidents in the State in 2017, 214 occurred in open areas and 73 people were killed. 205 accidents occurred in the residential areas (41 dead), 107 in market areas (13 dead) and 32 accidents occurred in Institutional areas (7 dead).
When it comes to Manipur, even though traffic light signals have been properly deployed in some important junctions of the State, most of the people are visibly seen recklessly violating the traffic rules and regulations, apart from showing complete disregard for the traffic police as well.
It can be easily seen that the State Government has also failed to make the people follow traffic rules properly. Most of the time, the authorities concerned seem content with organising traffic awareness programmes out of the blue for some time, instead of implementing a proper system or technique to ensure that the people actually follow traffic rules and regulations.
Even the traffic police of the State seem totally powerless to control the situation, except for shouting after some traffic rule violators.
On the other hand, many are complaining that even though the number of traffic police in the State is low, most of them are occupied some place or the other only for checking riders who drive without helmets or checking the vehicle documents.
The people are even lamenting that nowadays, they are hesitant to send youth on some errands due to fear of traffic police, VDF personnel etc who will stop them for checking.
On the other hand, even the people themselves seem to care little about their own safety when it comes to travelling in their vehicles along the roads.
It can easily be said that many among the general public do not possess any desire to properly follow or abide the traffic rules and regulation.
At a time when every 3-4 year old school children are aware that the red signal of traffic light means stop, yellow means ready and green means go, it is often found that mature and grown up people and who have been properly educated as well, seem to lack even this basic knowledge while driving.
Vehicles stopping far more into Zebra Crossings by passing the stop lines, pedestrians trying to cross the streets without heeding any of the oncoming vehicles, vehicles trying to overtake or fit into any available space while driving are common sights on the roads today and these problems cannot all be monitored single-handedly by the traffic police, who themselves seem powerless to do anything on the roads of Manipur. In light of these situations, some academicians have questioned why the traffic police lack the guts to fine speed freaks and traffic rule violators when they (traffic police) can stop and fine people who drive without helmets and proper documents. It is also a common sight to see many so called VIP vehicles with flags, speeding along the roads without a care for anyone or any rules, let alone respect for traffic police.
If traffic rules and regulations are properly followed, the number of deaths and injuries due to road accidents will drastically decrease. Strict enforcement of traffic rule is the need of the hour and this will in turn also save the face of the State when people from outside come on a visit.