As India maintains the dubious distinction of having one of the worst road safety records in the world, reflecting the lack of a culture in "road use behaviour", road safety is belatedly being set to be included in the school syllabus, but not as a "boring" subject.
According to Nitin R. Gokarn, joint secretary, ministry of road transport and highways, road safety is being related to all the subjects for Classes 8-12 as part of the Central Board of Secondary Education s(CBSE) yllabus.
"It won't be a boring chapter on road traffic rules, but related to science, civics, history. It will be incorporated as interesting snippets so that students keep it in their mind," Gokarn said on the sidelines of an event organized by FICCI Ladies Organisation here Tuesday evening at the FICCI Auditorium.
"The NCERT syllabus committee is fixing up the text. It will be very practical," he said, adding that the core committee on the syllabus of the human resources ministry would take a final call.
Giving an example, he said students would be asked to ponder over what the impact would be if a motorbike driven at speed of 80 kmph swerves off the road during a turn, relating it to physics.
Earlier, speaking at the event, he pointed out that there was a fatality every nine minutes due to road accidents in the country.
"There are 5 lakh (500,000) accidents in the country every year and 1.4 lakh (140,000) deaths due to accidents. This works out to an accident every four minutes and a fatality every nine minutes," he said.
The major proportion of accidents was from Tier-II cities, where people tend to break traffic rules more, he added. "The fatalities are much more in Tier-II cities," he added.
Stating that people tend to flout road rules with impunity, Gokarn said one reason was "lack of enforcement".
Gokarn said people in the country don't have the culture of "road user behavior" and tend to ignore rules relating to right of way, use of service roads among other things.
Explaining how speed could turn fatal, he said for a motorcycle being driven at beyond 20 kmph the chance of an accident is high. "In the case of a bike being driven at beyond 40 kmph, the risk of accident is exponential and beyond 80 kmph, fatality is certain," he added.
He also said that there were no scientific studies on road safety,