Indian road safety measures are up against the wall
Data from 2013 reveals 1214 road crashes occur each day in India with 1 road crash death reported every 4 minutes, and 16 every hour. Each day 377 deaths, and 1287 injuries from road crashes are accounted for. The 30-44 years age group is most susceptible to road crash deaths in India.
Two Wheelers account for 25 pct of total road crash deaths. Each day 20 children below the age of 14 die due to road crashes in India. Each hour, 2 women die.
In the last 10 years, 12.02 lakhs have lost their lives and 55 lakh have been seriously injured/disabled due to road crashes in India in the past 10 years. This apart, 111 pct of crashes are under reported. 50 pct of those who die do so of treatable injuries, that’s about 70,000 lives. Strangely, while the country has about 1 pct of the world’s vehicles, the nation accounts for about 10 pct of the world’s road crash fatalities. In all, India loses
3 pct GDP owing to such deaths alone.
Uttar Pradesh reports maximum road crash deaths, as 2 people die every hour. Tamil Nadu reports maximum road crash injuries. City wise road crash deaths in receding order is as follows: Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Hyderabad, Pune. Top 10 countries with the highest number of road fatalities (Rank –Wise) is as follows: India, China, Brazil, U.S.A., Indonesia, Russia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand. Indian insurance industry incurred Rs 9177.32 cr on Third Party claims in road crashes in FY2012-13.
With Emergency Medical Services (EMS), life-support ambulances and trained paramedics still learning the act, it’s imperative that bystander rescue the injured. World Health Organization (WHO) calls its ‘Bystander Care’. However, for bystanders to be proactive, a supportive legal and ethical environment needs to be in place.
A study by SaveLIFE Foundation reveals 3 of 4 people in India are hesitant to help injured persons on the road, irrespective of why they are injured. 88 pct say they hesitate in fear of police, prolonged legal formalities and wait at hospitals.
Countries that have introduced a Good Samaritan Law protects citizens who help from legal hassles, detention at hospitals and police questioning. India does not afford such a system, which prevents people from helping in fear of legal repercussions. The constitution says ‘preservation of life is paramount’, and no formalities and procedures should come in its way.
On August 3rd 2012, Supreme Court of India said mostly bystanders keep away from an accident scene, perhaps not to be involved in legal or court proceedings. It said Good Samaritans who come forward must be treated with respect, not hassled and be properly rewarded. The SaveLIFE Foundation study reveals about 90 pct respondents are in favour of introducing of a Good Samaritan Law in India. People are willing to actively help if current drawbacks are done away with.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is addressing major public health concerns in India. In keeping with its mission to preserve life and improve public health initiatives, MoHFW can enable Bystander Care by introducing a Good Samaritan (Protection) Bill, so people are convinced that Indian Government acknowledge their contribution in saving precious lives, rather than inconvenience them. The process is crucial to saving more lives on our roads.