Too Many Highway Deaths
There is no further need for statistical data to establish that Assam leads the country in the number of deaths due to highway accidents. The prevailing Bihu spirit has also been responsible for a surfeit of tragic highway accidents leading to several deaths. One of them involved six Bihu dancers returning home in the wee hours of the morning. We have always maintained that the failure to conduct rigid driving tests before issuing driving licences has been one of the main reasons for the large number of tragic highway accidents. To this major lapse of the government must be added the other contributory factors like wider and smoother highways, faster cars and easy availability of liquor along our highways. A large proportion of the tragic highway accidents bear testimony to the high speeds at which cars involved in accidents were driven. In quite a few cases, the accidents occurred late at night, and the photographs of the cars involved in the accidents bore testimony to the high speeds at which they must have been driven to have ended up as such total wrecks. It does not call for great intelligence to infer that several of the cars involved in highway accidents were driven by persons under the influence of liquor and by drivers who had probably fallen asleep. No administration can shirk responsibility for such accidents. It is high time the government ended the present condemble practice of driving licences being sold for a price without any driving tests being conducted. It is important for the authorities to conduct breathalyser tests to elimite drunken driving. Filly, instead of putting up signs exhorting people to abide by “traffic rule” (in the singular), it might be more useful to put up signs indicating the major relevant traffic rules for the changed highway conditions as well as the braking distances at different speeds.