More people are killed in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world, with the national toll averaging at 1.3 lakh people in five lakh mishaps every year, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
Gadkari, in his Question Hour speech, said that among the various steps taken to curb the high trend of road accidents is to initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible for faulty road engineering.
Gadkari said main factors responsible for road accidents are drivers’ fault, poor condition of vehicles, pedestrians’ fault and weather conditions. “Also, faulty road engineering, lack of road information, inadequate planning for pedestrian crossing and underpasses are important reasons for road accidents,” he added.
Gadkari said while no final decision has been taken, there is a thought that trauma centres should be set up every 100km on the highways. In 2014, a maximum of 67,250 road mishaps were reported from Tamil Nadu, followed by 61,627 from Maharashtra and 53,472 from Madhya Pradesh.
Based on a Supreme Court order that Samaritans who help accident victims should not be harassed by policemen, an advisory has been issued to the states, he said.
Deputy speaker M Thambi Durai (AIADMK), while speaking as a member, pointed out that use of cellphone while driving and lack of underpasses and overbridges were major reasons behind road accidents. He said in a bid to reduce stress on truck drivers, their cabins should mandatorily have air conditioners.
Responding to a question on fines, he said the House will decide on the issue when the new proposed law is brought to Parliament for approval as there were differing views on the subject.