Accidents and the role of concerned Authorities

C. Prakash B.Sc., Ayhunlo Khing, 
Tseminyu Town

There are different type of accidents, some are avoidable, some are natural and some intentional. The real accidents are those which happens unexpectedly.

Being in the 21st century equipped with all the latest technology, with the help of which we can even forecast what is going to happen in the next hour or within certain period of time. It is with the help of these techniques that the authorities often cautioned the general public of certain impending   calamities. But it is the public who never realized the fact.

When some one intentionally in spite of knowing the fact that if it is done in a particular way which is against the normal rule accident is sure to take place and they do it. For example the drivers very well know that if they are over drunk and drive accident can not be avoided, it happens what can we do ? Kill the driver ? The drivers also get killed in such accidents. As a rule if there is any mechanical defects it is the driver and the mechanic’s duty to check before under taking the journey. It often happens that inspite of repeated information to the concern authority regarding the defects they turn their deaf ears which leads to accidents. Now the question is who is responsible for it. This is our system of functioning. 

May 18th 2007 NST Bus accident at Tseminyu was not a minor accident. Nine precious lives were lost and as many as 20 people were seriously injured. Accidents are not uncommon, but why the concern authorities do not wake up in time. Whenever accidents take place people die, properties get damage or looted by the opportunistics. Politicians and high ranking officers visit the site and promised to do this and that to rectify, but once the public stop speaking on the subject matter they also forget everything. All the enquiry commissions’ reports, etc. are thrown into the dust bin without letting the public know the reasons, nor do the concern departments implement the suggestions. Similar tactics are repeated every time.

We know that a good number of drivers driving public vehicles especially on long route during night time are drunkards. They drive only after drinking and think only of themselves and never bother about the passengers traveling under their leadership. They never realized that their slight mistake may take away many precious lives. Therefore it is the duty of the concern department to see such careless drivers are not allowed to drive how expert or senior they may be if they are in a habit of drinking. But who will make the department realize such facts. Every time after the accidents the department officers claim to set up an enquiry commission, but they should know it is better to try and prevent the accidents by taking up preventive measures then setting up enquiry commissions. Because the enquiry commissions can not bring the death back to life nor they make the findings public.

Another important aspect in any type of accident is that the local police personals should reach the spot  in time and cordon off the area. But it is always found that the police always reach the spot only after the public have had finished more than half of the work in helping or rehabilitating the needy. Role of police personal in any accidents or incidents had been always questionable be it in Nagaland or elsewhere. It actually needs public debate.

The general public who throng at the spot are not all helpful. Different have different intentions. Very few go there with the clear intention of extending a helping hand. Many are oppurtunistics. In a major accident it is natural that there will be many casualties, injuries etc. Therefore it is not only the dead and the injured that matters, their belongings are equally important to identify the person, therefore it is expected that the local police should know the value and carry out the operation on priority basis with clean intention and should be accountable too.

The public will be always judging the system of functioning by the police, how expert and transparent they are, how efficient and dutiful they are. In order to win public confidence police should know the definition of POLICE.

It has been found that many policemen are afraid to go to the accident spot, some are reluctant to touch the dead and the injured, and some are allergic to blood. So whether the department knows their security personals and their nature. If any weakness exist then whether the department have taken help of the expert in the concern field to rectify. Police personals with any type of phobia cannot help the needy. Not only that some police themselves are oppurtunistics. If it is like that then where is the justice?

There are certain rules for lifting seriously injured persons in an accident which the police personals are expected to know, and if they don’t then advice from the expert should be taken and the police personal should be trained before putting on duty especially along the highways where accidents are common. Since Administration, Police and Medical are the core departments in managing such situations therefore there should be very good coordination between them. The Controlling Officers of these departments should be transparent in functioning, so that the needy gets proper and timely help.

After the accident the dead and the injured are taken to hospital where the doctors and their staff do the most important life saving works. As a result many lives are saved. But the media reports about the accidents or incidents the whole credit is given to the police, the bureaucrats and the politicians. Nothing about the medical staff is reported such type of step-motherly attitude of the media is not good. Equal treatment should be given to all those who are involved  in the rescue and rehabilitation process.

Coming back to the role of concern authorities, I would like to put forward the following suggestions if found to be of any use will definitely help in improving the functioning and save more precious lives.

1.    We need smart, active and dutiful police personal along the highways
2.    They should be well trained and equipped with basic things like stretchers, first-aid box containing iodine tincture, cotton gauze, bandage and other things as advice by the health experts.
3.    They should be brave enough to face any challenges and know their responsibilities.
4.    They should not be drunkards.
5.    They should be honest, transparent and accountable to their duty.
6.    The transport department should appoint only qualified, properly trained, sincere and dedicated drivers who does not drink and understand the risk and responsibilities of driving.
7.    Qualities of vehicles should be ensured.
8.    All the public vehicles should be insured with third party liabilities so that the dead and injured get some financial help from the insurance department.
9.    Administrative, police and medical officers if they are regular in their place of posting, there will be no room for public complains.
10.    All the health centers along the national highways should have all the necessary equipments, instruments, medicines and trained qualified staff so that whenever such accident take place the needy gets proper and better treatment.

Here it not intended to malign anybody’s image or question anybody’s system of working, but these are the issues which the public would like to know so that united effort can bear better fruits.

Finally, I would like to tell the drivers “BE MR LATE THAN LATE MR” Also we should remember, someone is waiting at home, so we should drive slow and reach home save.