STOP CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE

Editorial GREATER JAMMU

Yet again six persons were killed in two different road mishaps in Udhampur District on Friday. While three persons holding a protest got crushed under a truck going out of control of the driver, the other three persons including a woman were killed after the motorcycle they were riding hit a road divider. This brings to fore the fact that fatal road accidents have become a routine affair in the state of J&K taking toll of substantial number of lives every year. It seems that the government has failed to move at the desired pace to address this serious issue concerning the people especially those travelling in vehicles on hilly routes. Each time an accident results in deaths, those in governance do just lip service for few days announcing ex-gratia in favour of the victims and their families. While they promise the moon to ensure that the rate of road accidents is reduced to a bare minimum but it is quite unfortunate that the tempo built at the time of accident wanes away within a few days. The end result is that the rate of fatal road accidents continues to maintain an upward graph till date. It is a fact that there are adequate laws, rules and regulations to keep check on the road mishaps but it is the enforcement agency that exhibit criminal negligence in performance of their duties on the roads be it the men in blue or the transport authorities. Despite the judiciary also having taken serious note of such lapses the administration doesn’t seem to be bothered too much. The judiciary playing its role superbly from time to time can be well gauged from the orders and decisions pronounced in various accident cases. The observations may sometimes seem to be harsh but the reality is that those driving on various routes resort to carelessness and negligence knowing well the dangerous topography of this Union Territory. Moreover there is laxity on part of the concerned departments or probably there being unholy nexus between the enforcement agencies with the vehicle operators can’t be ruled out. Amidst the tragic traffic chaos and treacherously unsafe public transportation, the besetting sin of our highways is that these are more like fatal facilities rather than the means of mobility. There is every justification for the people to raise their fingers as more lives are lost in road accidents than due to diseases so much so that the Indian highways are among the top killers of the country today. It seems as if traffic regulations are virtually dead and police checking mostly absent. In such a situation of of lawlessness, public roads have become lurking death traps. It is hoped that the concerned authorities take notice of significant observations of the Courts made from time to time and the Administration rises to the gravity of the situation and adopts road safety measures like active police presence beyond frozen indifference, through mobilization of popular organizations in field of road safety, frightening publicity for gruesome accidents and promotion of strict driving licensing and rigorous vehicle invigilation, failing which precious human lives will continue to be lost due to the criminal negligence of the enforcement agencies.