Road safety experts have urged the government to treat road traffic accidents on similar lines as prevention and treatment done during the Coronavirus pandemic in the country .

“During coronavirus pandemic, the government took various measures including prevention and treatment to effectively check the spread of the pandemic . Country having  more than 1.50 lakh road accident deaths in road crashes in the country is no less than a pandemic which can  effectively could checked and handled with the government support” said Ms Pooja Bajaj, herself an accident victim and a road safety promoter while delivering a lecture on ‘ Challenges faced by an accident victim’ organised by India chapter of the International Road Federation (IRF)

“With few thousand deaths during the corona pandemic both central and state governments woke up and took quick moves to prevent and treat the spread of deadly coronavirus. With India accounting for the highest road accident deaths and injuries in the world,  the government should take similar steps to prevent fatal road accidents, “said Ms Bajaj.

“Road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to individuals, their families, and to nations. These losses arise from the cost of treatment as well as lost productivity for those killed or disabled by their injuries, and for family members who need to take time off work or school to care for the injured. Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.” Said Mr K K Kapila, President Emeritus, International Road Federation (IRF) the global road safety body working for better and safer roads world wide .

“Most of the road accident  deaths and injuries in the  country  are predictable and preventable by simple road safety solutions including wearing of helmets by two wheeler drivers, promoting safer behaviour, proper marking of roads, reclaiming of sidewalks from encroachers,  strict adherence to safety norms, and regular road safety  audits to identify black spots and their addressal.  These can work wonders for  India“ said Mr Kapila.

“Some of the low hanging interventions are consistently educating and enforcing wearing of helmets for Two wheelers, retrofitting existing two wheelers with ABS under a National Programme, Mandatory Training of Heavy Motor Vehicle Drivers on First Aid Trauma Care, etc“ said Mr Kapila.

“Safety standards  in vehicles including child restraint system; Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for passenger vehicles. Besides, Bus and Truck Code for commercial vehicles and standards for Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in general, can play a crucial role in the entire transport system to enhance safety and awareness” said Mr Kapila.

“Road accidents can cause injuries that last a lifetime. Not just physical damage, though crashes are certainly responsible for some of the worst bodily injuries. Collisions also take a serious emotional and financial toll. Like physical and emotional injuries, car accidents can have lasting financial impacts. “ said Lt Gen Harpal Singh , President , India chapter of IRF.

The others who spoke at the conference included Dr Arun Mohan, senior advocate Supreme Court, Dr Rahul Singh on rapid response emergency medical services for the national highways and Dr Tarun Lala on rehabilitation of road accident victims.