Monday, January 22, 2018

Rampage on the Roads

 It is often said, children learn from actions, not from advice of their elders. Take a

moment to consider the devastating accident numbers that we are leaving for our

progeny to emulate. Last year, in one of the most horrific accidents to be caught

on camera in the country-- a man, 32 year old Siddharth Sharma was run over by a

Mercedes, being driven by a teen. Siddharth was simply returning home from work,

while the juvenile was just probably out having fun with friends. But what transpired

in that one reckless decision altered so many lives forever. We present to you the

horrific statistics of reckless driving in India and the heartbreaking narrative of

Shilpa Mittal, Siddharth’s sister.

One would like to put the blame

of the ever increasing fatalities

on someone’s head. It is easier

to blame, difficult to hold oneself accountable.

We can question the police

and the civil authorities as much for

the bad state of things, but whose

“bad state of things” is it when a 16

year old gets an easy access to a four

wheeler? Or when a 15 year old gets

gifted a bike for his birthday? And

what would make for a more horrific

news for you: the teenager killing or

injuring his or her own self or if he/

she kills other people?

While our team was working on the

Road Safety issue, while one was writing

his piece: this was the news that

was flashed in front of us.

Delhi teen killed after stunt

goes wrong on KTM bike that



• In Delhi about 1,500 people die in road accidents, every year.
• About 2,000 people die of Cancer, 2,400 people die due to Heart Attack and 600
people die due to AIDS, every year.
• The vehicular population in Delhi is around 60 lacs.
• 10,000 vehicles are added every month.
• In India about 80,000 people die on roads, i.e. 1 person dies every 6 minutes. India
contributes 6.5% of total fatal accident.
• Rs.55,000 Crores are lost due to road accidents in India every year.
• Every year about 12 Lacs people die in road accidents all over world.
• About 50 million people get seriously injured resulting in permanent disability.
• Road traffic injuries are among 5 leading causes of deaths in the age group of 5-45
• Majority of those killed, injured and disabled are men in their productive years of life.
• Every year thousands of children become orphaned or lose a parent. It affects not
only the person involved in the accident but also the whole family.
• Most of the accidents are preventable and precious lives can be saved as 95% of
the accidents are as a result of careless behaviour on the roads.
• In most cases death occurs due to non-availability of immediate medical aid/care
family gave as gift
Mohammad Umar Sheikh, 15,
had been gifted the racing bike
by his family only a fortnight
ago. He was performing stunts
on the bike when he lost control
and fell.
Tell us who does one hold responsible:
the adult in the case, the parent
who has inflicted the fate on the
teenager, or the teenager themselves?
Do people for a minute stop and think
why there is a minimum legal age for
certain things? One only needs to read
the reports and statistics to know that
underage driving is a big problem for
us today, as a society. The analysis of
road accident data from the year 2015
reveals that about 1,374 accidents
and 400 deaths take place every day
on Indian roads. The statistics also
reveal that about 54.1 per cent of all
persons killed in road accidents are
in the age group of 15 - 34 years. 20
children under the age of 14 die everyday
due to road crashes in the country.
Drunk Driving resulted in 16,298
road accidents and 6,755 fatalities in
2015. Does one sense the alarm in the
The most worrying piece of news
is that the Juvenile laws are not stringent
enough to deter a teenager from
committing such a crime again. But
would a teenager want to be behind
the bars for even a day? While they
have a lifetime to create ahead of
them, the journey is altered because
of one foolish act?
While we may question the sense of
responsibility in a young adult, recent
amendments in the thirty year old
Motor Vehicles Act holds the guardian
as much accountable in cases of
juvenile delinquency.
The amendment Bill under Section
199A invokes adult accountability
by proposing penalties for the
guardian/owner of the vehicle for offences
committed by Juveniles. The
guardian or owner of the vehicle
shall be guilty with a fine of Rs.
25000/- and/or imprisonment
of up to 3 years, while the Juvenile
will be tried under JJ Act. Additionally,
the registration of said motor
vehicle will be cancelled. The burden
of proof shall lie on the guardian/
We need to stop treating motor vehicles
as a small toys that we let our
children play with. Remember how we
lock up our precious items in a safe, we
don’t provide children unhinged access
to those, do we? Then how do we even
assume that a car key is something that
child can have easy access to? Let us be
more responsible for our children, for
their safety, and for the safety of our
roads. Set a better example for the future
generation to emulate.
Source: Delhi Traffic Police