Citizens on Sunday participated in a walk organised by the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam, with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi, to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
This year’s slogan was Life is not a Car Part. It aimed to draw everyone’s attention to lack of road safety in India.
Students, holding placards, urged people to abide by the new Motor Vehicles Act and follow traffic rules to save lives. They said the aim was to reduce number of road accidents by half in 2020.
In India, Assam ranks 16th in road mishaps with 30 people dying in every 100 accidents. The numbers of road deaths in Guwahati was 256 in 2017, 247 in 2018 and 140 till July this year.
Inaugurating the walk from Gauhati Medical College Road, the principal, NEF Law College, Karavi Barman said: “Road crash is the major cause of deaths of people of all age groups and the leading cause of deaths of youths aged between 15 and 29. All issues — be it road design, licensing, driving skills, traffic management, vehicle design, policing, — need to be addressed through a strong legislation immediately.”
In the first quarter of this year, data provided by the states and the Union Territories to the Centre recorded 118,175 road crashes in which 119,260 people were injured and 39,268 people died.
“Poor people, mostly drivers, labourers and vendors, who are extremely vulnerable, die in road mishaps. A severe injury or a death in a poor family can leave them devastated, emotionally and economically,” Ratul Mahanta, a tax inspector of the state government, said.