Greater Noida: On Wednesday an accident was reported near Jagat farm around 2 in the afternoon. Two youngsters on a bike, without helmets were hit by an autorickshaw. It could be have been another incident to add up to the list of a high number of fatalities on road accidents in Noida. But luckily the youngsters escaped with only some head and hand injuries.
According to the official statistics, road accidents have claimed more lives across Noida and Greater Noida than coronavirus in the years 2020 and 2021. According to the state health department's data, the Covid-19 infection has so far claimed 468 lives in the two cities in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. On the other hand, as per the Gautam Buddh Nagar police data accessed by PTI, road crashes ended 380 lives in 2020 and 320 in 2021 across the district, totaling 700 deaths during the two-year period. This data on road crashes did not include figures for the month of December 2021.
Road accidents have been a major cause of concern in Noida and Greater Noida. On December 29, 2021, Greater Noida Authority released its official statement which said that the Authority has started a campaign to make Zebra Crossing near all the major roads of Greater Noida and near Rotary. On the instructions of Narendra Bhushan, all the work circles have started making zebra crossings in their areas. Yellow traffic lights will also be installed at all zebra crossings. The CEO has said that where people cross the road on foot, a zebra crossing should be made. Also, yellow traffic lights should be installed so that those crossing the road do not face any problems.
It is high time for the GreNO Authority to act in this matter as things are pretty bad on the road. Manish Kumar, a member of Noida Extension flat Owner Welfare Association, says, “There are no traffic signals in Greater Noida, There is one at Pari chowk which works on its own. It’s good that they are now finally making zebra crossings but will they be able to enforce it? In Noida, there have been Zebra crossings for a very long time now. Does that make any difference on the ground? There should be a joint action from the Authority as well as the Traffic police. Just making zebra crossings is not going to do much good in itself.”
Prerna Singh, SHARP [School Health Annual Report Programme) NGO, says, “The fact that Noida had more deaths from road accidents than Covid is an important wake-up call. Distracted driving has been labelled as the "new modern-age pandemic." It is a phenomenon unique to the twenty-first century.”
In India, road traffic injuries are the ninth biggest cause of mortality. The majority of accidents are caused due to driver’s fault, which includes overspeeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and hit and run cases. Other causes of road accidents include the fault of others such as cyclists, pedestrians, or drivers of other vehicles. Says Singh, “Through our campaign, we have recognized that there is an immense lack of road safety education in schools, and road safety is not treated with required urgency and importance. Other than infrastructure changes, the major aspect of improving road safety should be on improving awareness.”
Brajesh Sharma, a Member of the 7x welfare team, which conducts regular road safety drives on weekends, says, “It is a matter of serious concern. We see many good colorful, fancy wall paintings on various underpasses, flyovers, various political birthday posters on various crossings but never see road safety-related slogans or posters on the road, that shows the importance of human life”.
In the above-mentioned accident, it was Raghavendra Kumar, also known as the 'Helmet Man’, who helped the two youngsters. He says it is important that the general public acts more responsibly when it comes to road safety.
Says, he, “It's terrible to watch people losing their lives in road accidents. We always take road safety education lightly, which is very important for everyone. When parents hand over vehicle keys to their children then why don’t they educate them about the basic ethics of driving? I asked the guards to check on their society’s residents if they are wearing helmets or using seat belts. If not then ask them to wear it. Many a time, guards were taken lightly but it was the least they could do for others safety”.
Ullhas PR, a Social filmmaker, who worked on a campaign based on women's safety and two-wheeler helmets says, “The problem is not only in Noida but Pan India. I had a minor accident where I fell on the road from a two-wheeler, as a dog suddenly crossed from in front of me. I shouted for help, but nobody came to help. I shouted out loud, ‘aap sab dekh rahe ho, mei gira pada hu , uth nahi paa raha, insaniyat ke naate khud aana chahiye ke nahi’, it was kind of dramatic but the situation was unreal for me. Then I decided I will always help road accident victims”.