Lack of road-sense has further complicated the matters. Driving licenses are given on illegal gratifications to the authorities and traffic rules and regulations are thrown to the winds. Overloading is one of the major factors of road- accidents and deaths. The condition of the vehicles is hardly found road-worthy. The unmanned railway level-crossings further add to the chaos and confusion.
The multiplicity of authorities and utter lack of coordination among them is another great source of worry. Drug-abuse and addiction by drivers is another major cause of accidents. The ever increasing use of mobile phones has posed a new challenge to road-safety. Immediate and effective steps should be taken to check the ever increasing number of road-accidents and deaths. Some very hard decisions in the matter is the need of the hour. Roads in India are a popular means of both passenger and goods movement.
Travel by road provides a lot of flexibility, convenience, speed and reliability, particularly at short distances in cities and towns. Therefore, it is the most preferred medium of transport. But Indian roads in cities, towns and those connecting them, have been in a very poor condition. Their development and maintenance have not kept pace with the growth in vehicular population. Consequently, there are accidents, serious injuries and deaths all around. Indian roads are red with human blood.
The neglect of Indian roads is pathetic. In the first Plan the outlay was 6.9 per cent of total expenditure which declined to 3 per cent by the Eighth Plan. The neglect and poor maintenance of Indian roads have made the road-travel very hazardous. About 60,000 lives are lost every year in road accidents. This fatality rate is 25 times that of the U.S.A. The pressure on roads is increasing abnormally and nothing effective and urgent is being done by the concerned authorities.
During the year 1951-1994 traffic growth in the country was estimated to be 8-10... [continues]
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