Accidents and Fatalities

Accidents and Fatalities
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It is almost every day that newspapers greet us with sad and gory news of road accidents which are, at times, fatal. This means that road accidents have become a regular occurrence in Kashmir now. Only yesterday, a 12 year old girl became victim to a road accident that cost her life. While the girl cannot be brought back to life, to state the obvious but to prevent and preempt accidents in the future, a lot must and can be done. First, a word on the nature and reasons for these accidents. These are not difficult to fathom. Mostly, these pertain to bad, rash and poor driving. Other reasons include usage of roads and pathways by pedestrians and other assorted people in a way that constitutes an impediment, poor road and pavement design and so on. But, given the enormity and scope of the problem, it stands to reason that the reasons for road accidents must be addressed the soonest. Both the demand side and supply sides need to be taken into account and then dealt with. First, the application, disbursal and granting of licenses must be tightened up. It is a known fact that granting of licenses in Kashmir is not a neat process. It must be made so. In this respect, what needs to be done is to conduct both theoretical and practical exams of a vigorous nature that actually tests both the knowledge of driving and skills thereof. The tests must be exhaustive and test almost all conceivable angles on driving and perspectives, both theoretically and practically. It is only after the candidate passes both tests and exams that licenses must be given. Once a license is disbursed, it must be predicated upon a points based system from which points must be shaved off when and if there is a traffic violation. The grades to be shaved off must be contingent on the nature of a given traffic offense or violation. If , for a given motorist, all points get shaved off then he or she must be debarred from driving for a stipulated period of time, long enough for him or her to learn a lesson. Last, but not the least, those found guilty of offenses of a serious nature must face punishment which must be proportionate to the nature of the offense. The reasons delineated here and the recommendations thereof are not exhaustive. There’s more than can be done. But, following the ones delineated here can constitute a useful starting point.