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Road Rage

April 4, 2024

Preventing road accidents is a critical endeavor that requires joint efforts from government agencies, law enforcement, road users and community organisations. Over the past five years, J&K has witnessed a total of 28,896 road accidents, resulting in 4,251 fatalities and 37,725 injuries. Jammu region has recorded the highest number of road accidents. In 2019, Jammu reported 3,907 road accidents, leading to 695 fatalities and 4,987 injuries, while the Kashmir division recorded 1,889 accidents, resulting in 301 deaths and 2,545 injuries. Accidents in the Valley resulted in 214 deaths and 2,332 injuries. In 2023, the Jammu division reported 3,943 road accidents, resulting in 598 fatalities and 5,486 injuries, and the Kashmir division recorded 2,355 accidents, leading to 295 deaths and 2,983 injuries. As of January 31, 2024, the current year has witnessed 398 road accidents, resulting in 55 fatalities and 486 injuries. Of these, the Jammu Division reported 284 road accidents, 38 fatalities, and 342 injuries, while the Kashmir Division reported 114 accidents, 17 fatalities, and 144 injuries.

Even as efforts are constantly underway to mitigate road accidents and the factors contributing to them, the traffic department has been raising awareness about road safety rules and regulations among the public. Initiatives are being taken to enhance the safe movement of two-wheeler traffic through awareness campaigns and strict enforcement measures, including issuing fines. However, more needs to be done. In Jammu and Kashmir, where the incidence of road accidents has been alarmingly high in recent years, implementing effective strategies to mitigate these mishaps is paramount. Several key measures can be undertaken by the government to address this pressing issue. First and foremost, there is a pressing need to focus on infrastructure improvement. Enhancing road infrastructure by widening roads, installing safety barriers, and improving signage can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Constructing pedestrian crossings, sidewalks, and footpaths can also help separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic, thereby enhancing safety for all road users. Regular maintenance of roads and prompt repair of potholes are equally crucial to ensure smooth and safe travel. Traffic management plays a crucial role in accident prevention. Implementing effective traffic management strategies, such as optimizing signal timings and improving intersection design, can help regulate traffic flow and minimize congestion, reducing the likelihood of accidents. Deploying traffic police officers to monitor traffic and enforce traffic laws can deter reckless driving behaviors and ensure compliance with road safety regulations. Additionally, the installation of traffic surveillance cameras can aid in monitoring high-risk areas and identifying traffic violations. Public awareness campaigns are instrumental in promoting road safety practices among the general populace. Launching comprehensive campaigns to educate road users about safe driving practices, the importance of wearing seat belts, and the dangers of distracted driving can help build a culture of responsible driving. Educational programs in schools, colleges, and community centers can instill road safety awareness from a young age, encouraging future generations to prioritise safety on the roads.

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