The grim reaper has been a busy soul during 2016, especially on Goan roads. Last year, 331 road accident related deaths have been recorded. The grim reaper also snatched 311 lives in 2015 and 290 in 2014.
Goa is famous for being a 365-day holiday destination. Yet, picturesque Goan roads are stained by the 4304 accidents that occurred in the year gone by. Since 2010, there have been 26,315 road accidents and 1,819 accident related deaths.
According to statistics provided by the Traffic Cell of Goa Police, close to 60 per cent of deaths that have occurred since 2010 comprise of two-wheeler riders and pillion riders.
The numbers do not make for pleasant reading, but the statistics clearly indicate that two-wheeler riders account for the maximum number of motor accident deaths on Goan roads. As a result, the government has come under severe public criticism for not tackling the issue.
However, should the government be framed for poor condition of the Goan roads? Must the police be criticised for failing to enforce traffic rules? Or must everyone who uses a vehicle of any kind, claim responsibility for the growing amount of recklessness?
“Several media houses have already covered the issue of road safety and how the police and government should do more. However, no one is saying that motorists should be blamed as well,” says widowed senior citizen Aileen Borges, who lost her husband in a road accident.
She adds “People are suppose to follow rules and use their vehicles responsibly. Instead, we see people of all ages drive and ride with reckless abandon. What is the use of blaming the police? We must chide our sons and daughters for being reckless on the road and pull up others as well for their own safety.”
Plato said “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
In the same way, if life is to be protected, we as citizens need to sit up and drive/ride responsibly. The buck stops with us!