India, accident, road, victims, Bismillah Gelani

More people die on Indian roads than anywhere else in the world.  According to official figures one person is killed every four minutes.
 
Shailesh Satte lights up when he talks about his wife Shama.
 
“She was the most vivacious person and full of life, anyone who saw her would say this is how life should be lived. We were truly made for each other; we had created a beautiful life together and were meant to be together,” said Shailesh.

Sahilesh and Shama were classmates in college. They fell in love and decide to get married.
 
They were planning to start a family when their world was turned upside down:

“A BMW car that was speeding rammed into us. It sounded like a bomb explosion. The taxi went several feet up in the air before hitting the ground. A few seconds before I was talking to my wife and then I was looking at her body on the road.  She was pregnant with our first child,” recalled Shailesh. 

The driver of the BMW had no license and was speeding.
 
Nearly 400 people die on Indian roads every day.
 
“In 2007 India took over China in deaths caused by road accidents and since then China’s death count has constantly decreased while ours has kept on increasing,” said

PiyushTiwari from the Save Life Foundation, an NGO working for road accident victims: 
 
He says nearly half of the victims are pedestrians, cyclists or motorbike drivers.
 
“In all our cities the by lane is meant for not only cycles and motor cycles but for buses and trucks as well. So what we are doing is we are putting the heaviest vehicle and lightest vehicles into a conflict situation," said Tiwari.
 
According to a report by India’s Law Commission, half of the victims could have been saved if they got medical help in time.
 
But in most cases people don’t stop and help because they are worried they will get in trouble themselves.

“Many countries including the United States, France and Germany, have a Good Samaritan law under which not helping an accident victim is considered a crime. But in India just the opposite of this is happening because if you help you often face harassment,"said Rajive Chaudhary a road safety activist.

The new BJP government which lost one of its ministers in a road accident last year says it intends to launch a complete overhaul of the road transport system.
 
Nitin Gadkari the minister for Road Transport and highways says they are drafting a new law: “Now we are making a law of international standards comparable with the laws of countries like the UK, the USA, Singapore, Japan and Germany and we had a think tank from the World Bank and they contributed immensely in preparing the law and on that basis I’m confident that we will definitely give relief to the people of India. We are going to implement the strictly.”
 
The law is set to go before the parliament in the next session.
 

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