Urgent Road Safety

It is a matter of concern to note on the frequent accidents reported especially in the commercial hub of Dimapur. Back to back accidents at the Nahabari junction area on National Highway 39 have led to loss of precious lives. The SP Dimapur should make an on the spot inspection of this particular stretch of road and after investigating the matter take appropriate measures so that similar accidents are avoided. The SP should also direct the traffic police to investigate on the other vulnerable areas and take necessary remedial measures such as putting road signs etc. If required, information on public safety can also be made available through the local media to educate the masses especially when it comes to traffic rules, basic safety measures such as putting on seat belts or wearing helmets, lane changing and use of signal lights etc. The mobile squad of the police should also keep vigil on rash driving and speeding because there are irresponsible people behind the wheel who risk not only their lives but also that of other innocent citizens on the road. 

While it is clear that the flouting of traffic rules and the indiscipline of those behind the wheels is posing a grave danger to the safety of the public and calls for better enforcement of laws, a more long term initiative needs to be put in place through a vigorous safety education program so as to inculcate a safety culture among motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. More stress also needs to be given to road safety education beginning at the school level. Education curriculum in the State should put more emphasis in teaching children on road safety measures. For the immediate though, the traffic authorities should immediately enforce helmets for two-wheelers and put necessary road signs in accident prone areas and junctions. It is also about time for looking at the possibility of enforcing speed limits as was tried a few years ago in Dimapur whereby speed limits in respect of various categories of vehicles plying in and around Dimapur Town area was notified. Sadly, the earlier notification had remained on paper only for whatever reasons.

Authorities should be cautioned that in the period between Christmas leading up to New Year there have been serious road accidents in the past. Experience over the years of road mishaps occurring in the lead up to New Year should be enough reason for the public, traffic police and district administration to take extra caution knowing fully well the negligent road-user behavior during this season of high spirits and bonhomie. The high toll of people killed in road accidents either on December 31 and January 1 both in Kohima and Dimapur should therefore remain a concern for all as it involves the safety of public at large. The concerned authorities must take whatever measures possible, within the available resources, to reduce the number of accidents and casualties, therein. These calls for timely preemptive measures involving all cross section of the public because merely policing alone will not prevent accidents. What is required is self discipline behind the wheels, responsible behavior and action (making sure that one does not drink and drive), education and awareness about road safety and traffic rules. Each one of us can contribute to safety on the road by practicing the dos and don’ts. This will need collective action.