WHO says road safety in India is the worst
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released its findings on global road safety. Accounting for nearly 99 per cent of the world's population from 182 countries, the data says that India has one of the worst road safety amongst all. Only 28 countries, which approximately cover 7 per cent of the world's population, have proper road safety laws in place with emphasis on using helmets, seat belts, over speeding, child restraints and drinking and driving.
India loses approximately a lakh lives out of the 1.24 million globally every year due to road accidents. India is amongst the ten countries included in the WHO Road Safety in a 10 countries project which will be conducted over five years by a panel of six international partners. This project is already being implemented in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab where bikers without helmets are fined severely and a campaign has been raised against speeding. The Indian government and traffic agencies have a different story to tell. They blame the rising number of vehicles in the country to the accidents. Approximately, in 2009, there were 115 million registered vehicles on Indian roads - majority being motorcycles and autorickshaws. However, a poor knowledge regarding traffic rules and apathy towards wearing helmets is a major contributor to road accidents. The WHO Road Safety commission through various slide shows and demonstrations aim to educate the masses and thereby reduce accidents.