We must demand safe roads and not just more airbags

Source: The post is based on the article “Our urban spaces need renewal, not new names published in the Livemint on 9th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Social Issues – Road accidents.

Relevance: About car accident-related deaths and road safety in India.

News: The tragic death of former Tata Sons chairman in a car accident has turned the spotlight again on lax safety rules for car passengers in India.

What are the challenges to road safety in India?

1) Road safety advocacy group SaveLife Foundation, a non-profit organization, has consistently flagged “fatal” corridors where a disproportionately high number of crashes and fatalities occur as a result of poor road engineering. The recent accident also highlights dubious engineering and design.

2) Government aims to construct Highways at a speed of 50 km per day. But the government fails to focus on the quality and maintenance of these roads.

3) Driving itself is an encounter with chaos on Indian roads, with rules that exist only on paper. Airbags and seat belts are a system that works in conjunction. But many people

4) India’s automotive industry has a record of delaying safety mandates on airbags and anti-skid braking systems. This is because they are trying to keep vehicles affordably priced in India.

What can be done?
Must read: Rear guard action: Car accident-related deaths can be drastically reduced by the use of seat belts

Indian tech-savvy consumers are grown enough to seek 5-star crash-test ratings. It shows the robustness of cars and hence their safety. But they need to strap themselves in a seat belt and encourage their family also irrespective of where they sit in the car.

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