Jun. 10 – After overtaking China to become the world’s road death capital in 2006, India’s roads have only become increasingly dangerous, plagued by lack of planning and oversight according to a recent New York Times report.
In the last decade, both countries have witnessed a boom in the automobile industry. China tripled its vehicle fleet to 45 million cars as India doubled to 15 million, not even accounting for tens of millions of motorcycles and small rural vehicles used by less affluent drivers.
But whereas China witnessed a decline in traffic accidents over the last five years to 73,500 fatalities in 2008, India’s road deaths skyrocketed 40 percent to over 118,000 the same year.
According to the article, India’s roads suffer from poor planning, lack of law enforcement, and the dangerous mix of untrained drivers who can often attain a driver’s license with a simple bribe.
Any effort to reduce the number of Indian traffic fatalities will require “political commitment at the highest level,” explained Dr. Etienne Krug, director of the department of violence and injury prevention at the World Health Organization to the New York Times.
India’s government is aware of the issue she said, and more effort of late has been put into infrastructure investment.
Investing in India’s Public Private Partnerships