Vardhan while speaking at NTSI drew attention to World Health Organisation that has forecast death and disability due to increased road accidents will increase many times over by 2030.
Noting that hospitals in the country are lacking where facilities and specialized staff are concerned to deal with such trauma cases, Vardhan wishes to see more development in this area. He also wants a new National Health Policy to cater to these contingencies.
The Health Ministry is also in the process of making a list of suggestions to be complied with by Road Ministry which will include rules against talking on mobile phones, texting while driving and the removal of speed breakers at unnecessary spots which cause more harm due to spinal injuries. He also drew attention to the lack of awareness and careless attitude with regard to wearing of seat belts in cars, strapping of helmets by pillion riders and observation of road safety discipline.
Vardhan is further committed to the cause of ensuring enhanced neuro trauma car in hospitals due to the fact that most victims are young and their death depletes the country of human talent. A well observed fact in India is most women who ride pillion disregard the need to wear a helmet.
An extensive list of suggestions are being drawn up by Roads Ministry on safety. Suggestions from public-spirited individuals include one that points to ‘two-wheeler riders who don’t wear helmets be denied petrol sales’. Maybe the compulsion may have positive results. A college in Pune did few years earlier stop students from parking in college if they rode in without a helmet. The solution worked.
With 1% total vehicles in the world, India accounts for 6% of total road accidents globally. 4 lakh road accidents result in a lakh deaths a year. As per Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, everyone other than a Sikh wearing a turban when riding on a motorcycle should wear protective headgear (helmet) when in a public place in conforming to Bureau of Indian Standards. Motor Vehicles Act 1988 doesn’t exempt women pillion riders on two wheelers from wearing helmet. State Governments can frame rules to provide for any exceptions deemed fit. However, this law is probably one of the most neglected in India.