India minister blames motorbike deaths on men trying to impress women

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, November 11, 2012 10:29 EDT
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Indian motorbike via AFP
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NEW DELHI — A Indian state leader has said a deadly trio of riding flashy motorbikes, speaking on the telephone while driving and trying to impress women has caused a jump in fatal road accidents among young people.

“If there is a good motorcycle, a good mobile and a good girlfriend then accidents are bound to happen,” Raman Singh, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh state told a traffic safety conference on Saturday.

More than 110,000 people were killed in Indian road accidents in 2011 — more than 300 every day — according to the National Crime Records Bureau, with bad roads, speeding vehicles and poor driving among the many contributing factors.

Singh told a seminar in the state capital Raipur that 55 to 60 percent of all road accident victims were youths.

“It’s a common sight to see youngsters driving two-wheelers while talking on cellphones which often leads to accidents. Youths should avoid such habits,” Singh said, in comments reported by the PTI new agency.

Singh lamented that while people spent large sums on motorcycles, they were often reluctant to buy proper helmets.

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