Road Safety At Risk

Appeal for a strong Road Safety Law for India

In 2014, the Government of India promised to introduce a long desired legislation to curb the massive death toll on India’s roads. The move was prompted by the road accident death of Union Minister Shri Gopinath Munde. The Government took steps in the right direction by drafting a bill but it has still not seen the light of day. Due to the opposition from various transport and auto lobbies, even the much needed provisions on road safety reforms have been compromised.

With close to 400 people, including 46 children dying on India’s roads every single day, road safety in India is at serious risk of being compromised. We cannot continue to let people die in these preventable road accidents. What India desperately needs is a robust law that protects all road users, unlike the present Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The Prime Minister of India can order a thorough review and ensure that a strong road safety bill is introduced immediately. Join this public campaign to reach out to the PM and request his intervention.

ACT NOW BY SENDING THE LETTER BELOW TO THE PRIME MINISTER


To,

Shri Narendra Modi,

Honourable Prime Minister of India,

New Delhi

Dear Shri Narendra Modi ji,

As you are aware, over 1.41 lakh people were killed and 4.8 lakh people were severely injured in road accidents across India in 2014 alone. India stands number one in road accident deaths in the world having lost at least 12 lakh people to the epidemic in the past decade alone.

Soon after your government was formed, your esteemed colleague Shri Gopinath Munde passed away in a road accident in Delhi on June 3, 2014. The Honourable Transport Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari soon promised that India will finally get a strong road safety law "within one month". It has been nearly two years but unfortunately, India still does not have the promised road safety law.

According to media reports, on December 22, 2015, several Members of Parliament across party lines had written to you supporting the introduction of a strong road safety bill in the Parliament. While some States have opposed the proposed Road Transport & Safety Bill on the grounds of privatisation of public transport and taxation issues, no one, has opposed the proposed road safety measures. I therefore urge you to introduce a comprehensive road safety bill at the earliest as the issue has also received bipartisan political support. The following issues remain unaddressed in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and must be included in a road safety legislation,

1. Statutes for protection of cyclists, pedestrians and other Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs)

2. Statutes for protection of children during commute

3. Robust, scientific and standardised accident investigation and data collection system

4. Stringent punishment for faulty road design, engineering and maintenance

5. Transparent, centralised and efficient driver’s licensing system

6. Mandatory safe driving training for all

7. Strict regulation of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMV’s) such as trucks, buses and lorries

8. Stringent punishment for drunk-driving, over-speeding and dangerous driving

9. Stringent punishment for violation of helmet and seat-belt laws

10. Establishment of an independent and empowered lead agency for road safety.

I appeal to you to accord high priority to this issue and introduce a robust road safety legislation in the Parliament at the earliest.

Thank you.

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