GUWAHATI, May 17 - National Road Safety�Network, a coalition of leading road safety experts and organizations from across the country, today shared recommendations with the Home Secretary to ensure safe transit of migrants during the nationwide lockdown.
Road crashes kill around 1,50,000 people every year and have continued to wreak havoc even during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.�
As part of the Road Safety Network, Consumers� Legal Protection Forum, Assam and Consumer VOICE, New Delhi, have been maintaining a��Road Crash Tracker��to document road crash deaths and traffic violations during the lockdown from March 24�till date.
So far, 1,176 road crashes with 321 fatalities have been documented.��
�We have submitted a list of 15 recommendations to ensure the safety of migrants travelling on road. The recommendations are aimed at mitigating specific risk factors like speeding,�driving while fatigued, overcrowding, etc. Some of the recommendations are specifically towards the safety of migrant workers returning home,� said, Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE.��
�While we welcome the decision by the Ministry of Home Affairs to run special trains and buses for ferrying migrants, students and stranded tourists to their hometowns, we remain concerned about the safety of drivers and passengers on journeys by road,� said the letter addressed to the Union Home Secretary.
Media reports indicate that driver fatigue combined with speeding has been responsible for the recent crashes.�
Risk factors like speeding, driving while fatigued, not wearing helmets continue to be responsible for the fatalities across the states. Speeding on empty roads has been one of the most common reasons for road deaths. There is an urgent need to effectively enforce speed limits, said advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary, Consumers� Legal Protection Forum, Assam.
Assam�is ranked 18th in terms of accident-related deaths in 2018. Hazarika added that the incidence should come down through proper implementation of MVA Act.
In order to assist the Centre to keep the road-users, especially passengers using the migrant bus services safe during these journeys, the Road Safety Network has shared a set of safety protocols with the government. The measures proposed include�temporary lanes for cyclists and pedestrians on highways and urban roads, thorough briefing to bus drivers on emergency protocols, identifying rest areas where food and water can be provided to travellers, engaging drivers well-trained in long-distance driving and familiar with particular terrain.