Musings on accidents due to overspeeding & overtaking
Voice of The Reader

Musings on accidents due to overspeeding & overtaking

January 6, 2022

Sir,

This refers to the news item “Girl driving to Mysuru for friend’s birthday killed as car topples” (Star of Mysore dated Dec. 28, 2021).

This incident of driving fast and losing control in overtaking is not the first instance and will not be the last.

Many young people sitting behind the steering wheel of an expensive car experience a thrill of heady feeling to the attraction of speed and have died losing control like a moth attracted to the burning candle.

Personally I felt deeply disturbed of how her parents must have felt traumatised and the shock to her friends apart from spreading gloom over the birthday party.

Kunigal route, a National Highway, is very good, mostly with few traffic and obstruction and hence there is a natural tendency to drive fast. Unfortunately, the record of accidents show rather a dismal prospect of this fixation of fast living,  fast food, speeding etc., that continue to take a heavy toll on the quality of life.

Despite various measures undertaken by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) over  the years, toll of death continue to remain in the region of 1.5 lakh every year. Statistic for 2019 shows 1.55 lakh death. At this rate, it is unlikely that the target of 50% reduction by 2024 as envisaged by MoRTH can be achieved. The following table is indicative of the futility of expectation.

Year       Fatalities (in lakh)
2016       1.49
2017       1.52
2018       1.53
2019       1.55

More tragic is the fact that 85% of those who die are in the productive age of 18-60. This is not only a great economic loss to the nation but also trauma for the families of those killed.

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There are many factors that contribute to the accidents and as per statistics for 2019, out of 1.55 lakh who lost their lives, nearly 60% are due to overspeeding while 25% of the total are due to overtaking.

Yes, we can be proud of having third largest road network in the world, ever expanding road network, speed of construction at 20 km per day, wider roads, the state-of-the-art roads, bigger cars, faster cars and whole lot of things to be proud of. And everywhere speed is the fixation and in the process we do not know how to live. It is time that we start slowing down if we have to have some meaning in life.

PS: Again in today’s SOM there was the report of another tragic accident where the life of a medical student was snuffed out in a midnight collision between a bike and a KSRTC bus in city centre. The reports says that the mishap could have been avoided had either of the two (bike rider or bus driver) applied their brakes.

– H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram, 5.1.2022

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