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15 road accident deaths in India every hour; are we ignoring safety?

Jun 07, 2014 09:03 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Union Minister Gopinath Munde's tragic death has brought the attention now on India's appalling road safety standards. Almost 15 road accident deaths in India are reported every hour.

India is home to the world's largest number of road deaths according to the World Health Organisation's latest global road safety report. The national capital of New Delhi is no better.

What is it that makes our roads so unsafe? "People take enforcement so very lightly. They can simply pay Rs 100 or have a sort of compromise and get away and that's a problem," said Rohit Baluja, President of Institute for Road Traffic Education.

It is not just about lax enforcement. Even the cars in India lack basic safety measures. "Seat belts on the back side help protect one from ramming into the front seat and also protect organs from getting a shock. There's no seat belt on the back side in most of the cars," said Piyush Tewari of Save Life Foundation.

Traffic rules are brazenly violated, putting lives at risk. The heart of the problem is not just violation of rules or insufficient safety measures inside our vehicles but an overall lack of concern for road safety, an issue that almost always takes a back seat. It is high time now that road safety becomes a talking point and possibly much more than that.