Senior BJP leader R.M.S. Chhina has appealed to the Government of Punjab to link the issue of driving licenses with improved traffic education to reduce the number of road accident deaths in the state.
Expressing his alarm over the statistic of 16 people dying every day on Punjab's roads, Chhina, in his letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said 6000 road accident deaths in Punjab in a year was higher than the national average, and therefore, he could not understand why the state government has failed to initiate measures to control what is a worsening situation.
Seeking the immediate attention of both functionaries, he said: "The families are getting ruined. The roads were never bloodier than this.''
He further said that there was a need to make driving tests mandatory.
"The recent report by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, disclosed disturbing trends. Apart from higher rate of accidents, Punjab also leads majority of the states in severity of accidents'', said Chhina in his letter.
Referring road accident deaths of comedian Jaspal Bhatti, a Ludhiana-based journalist and earlier Cabinet Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, Chhina said for every 100 accidents in state, there are 64.3 fatalities, which are two to three times more than the figures available in Kerala (11.3), Karnatka (20.7) and Maharashtra (17.3).
"There is total lack of traffic education in state. The roads are full of unaware and untrained drivers. The trucks are seen running in high speed lanes, while high speed cars cross them from the left dangerously,'' he stated.
He also blamed flawed road engineering, utter disregard for traffic rules, illegal plying of buses, trucks and taxis, juvenile driving, drunken driving, responsible for high rate of road deaths.
"The roads are not user-friendly. These are marked with rampant encroachments and due to lack of traffic education, vehicles are wrongly parked, leading to accidents'', said Chhina, adding that traffic education was needed more in rural areas, as the farming community accounts for 60 per cent of total deaths, many involving tractor trolleys.
"Getting a driving license, especially for heavy vehicles, is perhaps the easiest thing here. Licenses are issued to drivers who are not even aware about which lane they have to follow while driving,'' said Chhina.
He sought stringent traffic rules, better policing and traffic education in state. He also sought that the traffic education to be part of the school curriculum and directions to the District Transport Officers (DTOs) to impart training in driving before issuing driving licenses. By Ravindra Singh Robin(ANI)