Tata Indica driver gets bail in Gopinath Munde road accident case

With the sudden and untimely death of Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde early this morning, the International Road Federation (IRF) has voiced their concerns and urged the government to fix black spots in and around Delhi and across the country.

gopinath mundeDespite rushing the minister to hospital, he could not be revived. While its still too early to collaborate and give a reason as to what really happened this morning, the Indica driver applied and received bail at Patiala Court, Delhi today. When it comes to fatalities in India, about 1.40 lakh people are killed in road crashes each year. India also accounts for more than 10% of total road accident fatalities worldwide. The shocking statistic points to more than 350 people dying each day due to road accidents.

The minister’s death has thrown open many questions including conspiracy theories? News channels have gone ahead with conflicting reports about, which driver was at fault. Photographs after the accident point to collision on the rear left of the ministers’ car, exactly where he was seated. Since that side hasn’t bent out of shape or crumpled in entirety upon impact, it’s possible the minister may not have been wearing a seatbelt and the collision caused him to be propelled forward and the impact caused internal injuries.

Questions have also been raised regarding whether or not his driver was speeding. This points to naught considering no one else needed to be admitted due to injury. Maruti SX4 does come with dual front airbags for total protection, but in this case that proved too little. The possibility of the initially suggested frontal collision would also be negated if the minister was travelling with security cars, which ensures free passage. Furthremore, traffic isn’t dense early in the morning and speeding can be expected.

On the conspiracy front, the death of his brother Pramod Mahajan has been cited. Theories also point to his leadership position in Maharashtra in the newly elected government. Avadhut Wagh, State Spokesperson for the party on Twitter (@waghindia) said, “This is not an accident, it is Beyond it. I demand CBI enquiry of the incident.” On Twitter he added, “Mahajan first, then Mundhe Is it not a conspiracy to finish Mahajan-Mundhe family from politics? How such 2 big leaders die un natural death” [sic]

IRF, a Geneva based global organization working for the development of safer and better roads reacted on the sudden death of Gopinath Munde in a road accident which took place at the intersection of Prithviraj Road and Aurobindo Road in New Delhi to draw further attention to the number of persons dying in road accidents each year. IRF has urged the government to do something about these accidents and ensure that black spots on the roads are identified and that the issue is taken up on a war footing.

This fixing of black spots on Delhi roads will include about 20 such areas which include ISBT Kashmere Gate, Punjabi Bagh Chowk, Mukarba Chowk, AIIMS, Bilaspur Chowk (GTK), ISBT Anand Vihar, Mahipalpur Chowk, Dhaula Kuan, Rajokri Flyover, Shahadra Flyover, Nigambodh Ghat, Moti Bagh, Wazirabad Chowk, Peera Garhi Chowk, Shastri Park, Brar Square, Nangloi Chowk, Mukundpur Chowk, Burari Chowk and Ghazipur red light.
International agencies blame lack of proper governance in identifying these areas and have urged the government to enforce stricter traffic regulations, use of helmets and mandatory use of seat belts in cars.

Reflective red tape on commercial vehicles and strict action against overloading of vehicles will also go a long way in curbing the road accident menace in the country. “We urge the government to make every possible effort to change the road safety culture while establishing clear road safety norms. Global agencies involved in road safety have blamed lack of policies and enforcement as the main reasons behind increasing road fatalities in the country,” said Mr K.K.Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).

He added, “India is a signatory to the United Nation’s Decade of Action plan for Road Safety across the world which aims to reduce road fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. Several measures towards improving road safety including much awaited amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), improvements in roads from engineering perspective, road safety audits in all stages of road construction, beginning right from the planning stage, besides identification and remedy of black spots which account for almost 90% of road fatalities in India will help reduce fatal road accidents” added Mr Kapila.