Life. This is a seemingly harmless and easy-to-spell simple four-letter word. But it signifies the importance of why we are here. It is about being and living. It tells us of our existence, the relative importance of it. And yet, when you understand that whether down to one’s own fault or through the action of others how easily do we let go of our life from the palm of our hands, then you’d be surprised. Rather, you’d be amazed.

Road Fatalities In India
Express File Photo

What could be better than understanding the profoundness of the importance of life when one loses it through sheer recklessness, often emanating from accidents?

In that regard, it’s important to note the sheer number of accidents that take place in a developing nation like India, where apparently, numbers point to a telling and worrying narrative.

Apparently, the rate of accidents that take place on an everyday basis is so high that it points to the grave pedestrian deaths in India. You should be worried. You should be extremely worried when you get to find out that on average, around 62 pedestrians die every day in India.

Does that tell something about the pedestrian deaths in India?

It appears that walking, such a simple and harmless process, is after all, no longer a safe practice.

But in order to understand the gravity of the situation, one will have to glimpse at the numbers pertaining to the pedestrian deaths in India in 2014.

According to the road accident report of the Union Transport Ministry, as many as 12,330 pedestrians were killed back in 2014. In the next four years that followed, the numbers further arose to alarming levels instead of withering away.

It appears that in 2015, there were 13,894 pedestrian deaths in India, well over a thousand more deaths than in the previous year. Moving on, in the year 2016, there were as many as 15,746 deaths in India, which is easily over 3400 deaths than the numbers from 2014.

Pedestrian Deaths In India
TOI

But truth be told, the combined numbers from 2017 and 2018 reveal a scary statistic. It appears that around 43,000 deaths took place if one were to combine numbers from the last two years.

No longer, therefore one might reckon, is walking on the roads safe. Similarly, no longer can one suppose that being careful whilst walking will save one from the grave danger that lies on the part of the other drivers or commuters on these roads.

In fact, a report published in the Times of India shared that globally, pedestrians are considered the most vulnerable of road users but their protection gets the highest priority. So what about India then?

Can the pedestrian consider himself or herself to be safe traversing India’s roads?

But apart from these worrying numbers, one has to focus on the big question. It appears that the rising fatalities show that the first right of the pedestrians on the roads has neither been understood and definitely, not given any kind of precedence especially when the planning of roads takes place.

Road Traffic Death, Traffic Accidents India
G. Moorthy | The Hindu

A definite sense of complacency, therefore, seems to have crept in the way one protects the rights of the pedestrians in India, a long departure from the way the globalized world cares about its pedestrians.

What’s also important to note that as of 2018, the state that topped the list for most pedestrian casualty was West Bengal (with 2,618 deaths), followed by Maharashtra (with 2,515 deaths), and Andhra Pradesh (with 1,569 deaths).

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The common observation in this regard is that while the governments have failed to take care of the pedestrians in the general scheme of things, there seems to be hardly any training for the drivers on the aspect of how to respect the pedestrian’s rights!

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