Srinagar, March 19: The figures are mindboggling for sure. Nearly 1,50,785 persons were killed in 2016 as against 1,46,133 in 2015 in roads accidents across the country, as per the government data. Good news is that the number of road accidents in the country have decreased by around 4.1 per cent during 2016, with the year seeing 4,80,652 road accidents as against 5,01,423 in 2015.
However, the fatalities resulting from these accidents have risen by about 3.2 per cent during the same period, stated the annual report, Road Accidents in India, 2016, released by the ministry of road transport and highways last year.
Moved by the number of deaths in road accidents, an official of Jammu and Kashmir decided to tackle the issue head on. As a part of awareness drive and provide medical aid to accident victims, Abdul Raheem, who works as an assistant regional transport officer (ARTO) in Poonch, J&K, distributed over 250 first-aid kits to drivers on the National Highway in Poonch recently. While distributing the kits, Raheem spoke to drivers, mostly truck drivers, and told them as to how to use them in case of an accident or any other emergency.
Abdul Raheem, Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO), Poonch, distributed over 250 first-aid kits to drivers on National High Way in Poonch yesterday & made them aware about its use in accident or any other emergency #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/Kv9qUoia7j— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2018
Raheem said that most often highways are secluded places away from human habitation where there are no hospitals. "Due to lack of awareness, we have seen most vehicle drivers don't even keep a first-aid kit with them. The idea of distributing the kits is to emphasise on the need for safe driving. The first-aid kits will come handy in giving some relief to accident victims," said Raheem.
The official added that as roads of the state are mostly treacherous, accidents are frequent. "The first-aid boxes contain medicine, alcohol or non-alcohol antiseptic wipes, band aids, cotton balls, cotton swabs, iodine and bandages, among others. The first-aid box can't save the life of a fatally-injured person, but will go a long way in dealing with injuries before a person reaches hospital," Raheem said.
A truck driver, who ferries grocery items, said that he was touched by Raheem's gesture. "It was a nice move. I appreciate Raheem's effort as he created awareness about safe driving and the use of first-aid box during accidents," said Kuldeep Singh, who is driving a truck for the last 10 years in J&K.