It is being reported that on June 27, an accident involving an auto-rickshaw and an Audi occurred in Cyberabad. The incident is said to have resulted in one death and the auto-rickshaw driver to be hospitalised and in critical condition. ANI reports that the driver of the Audi, co-passenger and the father of the driver have been arrested under the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Reports claim that the Cyberabad Police suggest the driver may have been driving under the influence and overspeeding. The accused are said to have been returning from a party on their way to Jubilee Hills.
CCTV footage shows that the car was being driven at high speed when it rear-ended the auto-rickshaw. After the impact, the Audi was able to manoeuvre itself to not hit the barrier, while the Auto Rickshaw went into multiple tailspins. The severity of the wet weather conditions is also noted in the video. While the frail design of the auto-rickshaw left it mangled after the incident, the Audi suffered damage to the front left structure as a result.
While we await further investigation findings of the incident to be revealed, it is reported that the passenger of the auto-rickshaw was killed. Currently, the only information regarding the deceased is that he was an employee of a local pub.
India holds the title of one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Every year around 1.5 lakh recorded people die on our roads in 2.5 lakh recorded road accidents. However, news reports tend to start trending when a luxury car crashes into a rickshaw, (albeit; quite a regular occurrence in recent times), while any other incident involving any other vehicle doesn’t strike as loud of a bell.
The biggest reason for road accidents in India is the lack of driver training, driver awareness, road design, quality of infrastructure and ambiguous laws. It is hard to believe, but such incidents occur every day in India as the numbers paint a picture where someone dies on our streets every 3 minutes. But we only take notice when someone driving a luxury car is driving at high speed.
Over the years, vehicle design and technology has made it safe for occupants inside the vehicle. Data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) shows that while the number of deaths overall has remained the same, the number of deaths of occupants inside vehicles in accidents have declined severely. Between 2011 to 2017, in-vehicle deaths have nearly halved in numbers. This means everyone else around the vehicle are now most vulnerable.
While we see many measures being taken by state and central governments, most of them are passive. We may now have speed cameras, but speed limit road signs are either too small to be visible or non-existent. Our traffic rules are ambiguous and preventive at best, while they need to be precise and preemptive. Without structured comprehensive driver training, harsh penalties and a wholesome approach to road safety with intelligent and strict enforcement of better-structured laws, the consequences will have to be dealt with by the general public.
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