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Dealing with Road Mishaps

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT

According to Assam’s Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowari, at least 7,000 people lose their lives in road accidents in Assam every year. This is a rather high figure for deaths that can be controlled with responsible road use, when one compares it to the tiol average for highway deaths due to accidents. The figure is 1.50 lakh people. Considering that the population of Assam is less than three per cent of India’s population, 7,000 road accidents a year is a large number. One of the ways in which the State government plans to reduce the number of road accidents is by having a chapter on road safety included in the school curriculum. This is a good idea that is bound to yield the expected results. The other is to set up two driving training schools of intertiol standard in the State. This too is a good idea. But why is the government missing out on something more fundamental like getting back to honest driving tests that we had in the 1940s and 1950s? The irony of our present predicament is that at a time when we have smoother roads and more powerful cars (both factors leading to higher speeds) we have given up strict driving tests. The most important move towards ensuring safer driving on our highways is strict driving tests. What we are doing now is to let loose hundreds of motorists on the highways whose abilities to drive safely have not been tested. One of the surest ways to ensure safer driving on our highways is to insist that nobody can use the highways without having cleared the mandatory driving test to obtain a driving licence.

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