Drunken driving top road killer: Report

July 31st, 2012 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Drunken driving is one of the main causes of fatal road accidents in India, according to an official report released Tuesday identifying over-speeding and overloading as the other two main reasons behind road deaths.

The report of road transport and highways ministry said that careless drivers caused nearly 78 percent of fatal road accidents.

Joint Secretary Nitin Gokarn in his presentation at a meeting of transport ministers in the capital listed Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat amongst the worst affected by road accidents.

He emphasised on the “need for concerted efforts from all states to ensure better road safety”.

Gokarn stressed on the need to curb “over-speeding, drunken driving and overloading of vehicles” which were “the biggest cause of fatal accidents”.

Transport ministers of 12 states and representatives from the rest attended the meeting.

They urged the central government to increase funding for various road safety projects like driver training institutes and procurement of equipments like breath analysers to identify drunken drivers.

Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said while the capital had improved road infrastructure, issuing driving licences without rigorous checks remained a matter of concern for the government.

“We have completely removed (private public transport’s) Blueline buses, which were one of the leading causes of accidents. All our buses come fitted with global positioning system (GPS) and we are planning to put the same system in autorickshaws and taxis,” Lovely said.

“However, the national highways in Delhi remain accident-prone due to lack of proper signage and facilities such as foot over bridges for pedestrians. The norms for issuing driving licence are also an issue,” he added.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister S.C. Joshi said an amendment in Motor Vehicles Act would address several common issues such as low amount of fines for traffic offences and drunken driving.

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