Monday's Yamuna Expressway bus crash that killed 29 is grim reminder of the rise in India's highway accidents

  • An Uttar Pradesh roadways bus fell into a drain on Yamuna Expressway, resulting in the loss of lives of 29 people and leaving several others injured

  • Number of fatal accidents on the Yamuna Expressway have risen alarmingly despite a large number of road safety campaigns

  • Another basic necessity to reduce road accidents is to enforce laws properly and create awareness

On Monday, an Uttar Pradesh roadways bus fell into a drain on Yamuna Expressway, resulting in the loss of lives of 29 people and leaving several others injured.  The double-decker bus belonged to Awadh Depot and was on its way to New Delhi from Lucknow. As per initial reports around 50 people were on board when the bus fell into the drain.

This was not the first severe accident to occur on this highway. Residents said that it was the third bus accident at the spot, as reported by The Hindu.

 Mondays Yamuna Expressway bus crash that killed 29 is grim reminder of the rise in Indias highway accidents

Visual from the accident site on Yamuna Expressway in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. ANI

The number of fatal accidents on the Yamuna Expressway has risen alarmingly despite a large number of road safety campaigns. Between January and September 2015, 105 people died in 656 accidents on the stretch, an RTI filed by the Agra Development Foundation, an Agra-based social organisation said.

The RTI further said that altogether of 2,598 accidents and 383 deaths have taken place on the expressway between 9 August, 2012 and 30 September, 2015. Last year, the number of accidents stood at 771 and deaths at 127, reported The Economic Times.

"There's an urgent need to improve enforcement on our highways. This is not a one-off incident. In 2017, over 9,000 people have lost their lives in preventable bus crashes," SaveLIFE Foundation CEO Piyush Tewari told PTI.

According to reports, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, while replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Parliament, referred to Monday's accident as unfortunate and said that the Uttar Pradesh government has already set up a committee to look into reasons behind the mishap and take stern actions against those responsible.

"We are considering making it mandatory for tyre manufacturers to mix silicon with rubber in tyres and fill them with nitrogen instead of normal air," the minister said. As per international standards, it reduces the chances of tyre bursting due to excessive heat.

In 2017, as many as 1.47 lakh people died in road accidents in India, which equals as the entire population of Shillong, as reported by The Times of India. Among other reasons like rash and unsafe driving for road accidents, blame can also be put on miserable road conditions, poor road design and engineering.

Another basic necessity to reduce road accidents is to enforce laws properly and create awareness. According to reports, one of the absurd reasons for not using seat belts in India is because people do not want their clothes crumpled.

While highways (both national and state) comprise approximately five percent of the total road network, they witness almost 52 percent of the accidents. More accidents on highways may be attributed to higher vehicle speeds and higher volume of traffic on these roads, says reports by PRS Legislative Research.

The task of ensuring road safety in India is ensured upon various bodies, but a lack of proper communication between them leads to the ineffectual implementation of the rules.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 09, 2019 17:54:24 IST