Mumbai: A whopping 11,168 kids below 18 years of age get killed annually in road accidents in the country, which translates to one in every 45 minutes, or 31 daily, accounting for 7.40 per cent of all fatalities, as per official data, raising a big concern over the safety of minors in the country.
The stunning revelation was made at a workshop on ‘Making Roads Safer for Chidren’ held here on Thursday, in which Synergie and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), top officials and leading experts took part.
Additional findings of a survey conducted by Synergie’s Co-founder Saurabh Verma showed that only 22 per cent kids strap on seat belts, while 53 per cent said their parents don’t care if they violate traffic rules.
Maharashtra Transport Commissioner Avinash Dhakne said that road discipline is missing in the country and it is the parents who have a key role in educating their children on road safety aspects.
“Schools do train students in the basics of road safety, but people still violate the rules. We need to do our best to reduce deaths on roads and create a conducive commuting environment for adults and children alike,” urged Dhakne.
Dattatraya Saste, member of a high-level expert committee on road safety at the Centre, said that the safety of children is the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders.
“In the coming days, various tools will be developed in the fields of road safety, motor vehicles and road networks to tackle the safety issues, especially those pertaining to children,” Saste said.
Verma stressed on the need to focus on the 4E approach — Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Environment & Emergency care — to tackle child road safety aspects.
Advisor to Mumbai Traffic Police, Shankar Vishwanath, said that with increasing number of children walking or travelling longer distances to schools, colleges or playgrounds in Indian cities and villages, now is the time to start focussing on ‘Child Safety While Commuting’ to protect them and ensure the country’s future.