At the second conference of the Motor Vehicle Accident Conference (MoVACon) in Ahmedabad on Thursday, organised by the Lifeline Foundation – a Vadodara-based non-government organisation (NGO) that pioneered highway trauma care in the country – road safety experts highlighted that road accidents account for an economic loss of $6 billion a day.
Ratan Watal, member secretary, Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister, said that there is plenty of areas and scope to improve, exemplifying that though Gujarat came up with the Gujarat Emergency Medical Services Act, it continues to remain largely on paper.
Watal also highlighted few areas, including engineering of ambulances that is often overlooked. “When you are getting better roads, we also need better designed, safe cars… Ambulance designing is something which we (India) have not even looked into. We should start thinking about it… Car obsolence is also coming into play now… We have to have clear-cut policy on cars and how they need to be phased-out…”
In a bid to educate and create awareness about safety, Watal said, “…people who die in two-wheeler mishaps are mostly males. So the bulk of the accidents that we see happening are of youngsters. Why don’t we devise a programme…where we deal with families.”
Gujarat cadre IPS officer Keshav Kumar who is director Anti-Corruption Bureau, said, “I propose investigation of traffic offences very scientifically and through maximum use of forensics. Why can’t we have special traffic forensics, only devoted to traffic accidents? I also propose use of DNA technology in investigation so that responsibility is fixed and conviction can be made. Why can’t we have professional, specialised prosecutors? Why can’t we have specially trained police officers to probe traffic accidents? After an accident, a person has to really run (pillar to post) to get a copy of panchnama, insurance claims. Why can’t we address this?”
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