When it comes to road safety, Maharashtra doesn't seem to have a very good record. At least 9,000 people across the state were killed in road accident in the past year.
In many cases, victims were left to die as citizens hesitated to take them to hospitals or help came too little and too late.
Hence, the state government has mooted an amendment to the law to ensure quick help to an accident victim.
At a function observing Road Safety Campaign on Monday, home minister R R Patil said they would try making provisions in the law so that people won’t hesitate while helping a person who had met with an accident.
“It is generally found that passersby don’t come forward to help an accident victim fearing that they would be entangled in police and court procedures. We want to ensure that the victims get help at the right time and the people helping him are not dragged into the matter,” said Patil.
This move could help victims get immediate treatment during the ‘golden hour’, he said.
On an average, there are 12,000 deaths due to road accidents in Maharashtra.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also holds the transport ministry portfolio, stressed on the need to bring down the number.
“In 77% of accident cases, it is the fault of those driving a vehicle. Proper checks need to be carried out before licences are issued to people,” said Chavan.
Appalled by news of 860 drivers being caught on New Year’s eve, Patil said the government would take stringent measures before renewing licences of those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or involved in an accident.
“Youngsters need to be educated about the traffic rules,” said Patil.
Chavan said he was willing to approve more breathalysers as well as installation of driving simulators at RTOs to ensure safer roads.
However, a driving simulator has been gathering dust at the Tardeo RTO for over a year.
“Now that the chief minister has shown interest in driving simulators, we can surely expect to start this facility soon,” said Dilip Jadhav, transport commissioner.