Images of India: Long road to tougher law against killer drivers…

image0001India has some of the world’s deadliest roads, with more than 200,000 fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The deaths are blamed on weak laws, which are routinely flouted by drivers and poorly enforced, often by corrupt officials. After years of inaction, the government is proposing tougher penalties, including heftier fines for speeding and reckless drivers — currently as low as $2 — in a bid to bring down the shockingly high toll. The number of deaths on Indian roads — more than 231,000 in 2013 — is disproportionately high. India owns only one percent of global vehicles but accounts for 15 percent of global traffic deaths. Motorists regularly flout laws on wearing seatbelts, speeding, using mobile phones at the wheel or switching on their headlights while driving at night. India’s vast road network is poorly designed and ill-equipped to cope with the thousands of extra cars pouring onto them, thanks to a rising middle class. Motorbikes carrying entire families without helmets are a common sight in India.