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.
Shri Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minister of India,
Dear Shri Narendra Modi ji,
As you are aware, over 1.4 lakh people were killed and 5 lakh people were severely injured in road accidents across India in 2015 alone. India stands number one in road accident deaths in the world having lost at least 13 lakh people to the epidemic in the past decade alone.
Following the demise of Union Cabinet Minister, Shri Gopinath Munde in a road accident on June 3, 2014, Hon’ble Union Transport Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari had promised to bring a robust road safety legislation soon. A comprehensive bill was indeed drafted but was not introduced in the Parliament due to the stiff opposition it received from some States specifically for provisions for reform of public transportation and taxation. However, no States expressed any opposition to the road safety provisions. To build consensus on the issue, the Government set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to propose recommendations on road safety. On the basis of recommendations of the GoM, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) drafted the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was introduced in the Parliament on August 9, 2016, during monsoon session by Shri Gadkari.
While I acknowledge the Government’s commitment for bringing a strong road safety legislation in India, it is my humble request that the following points should be comprehensively addressed in the Amendment Bill,
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
I appeal to you to accord high priority to this issue and ensure the passage of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Parliament at the earliest.
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To know more, visit www.savelifefoundation.org/roadsafetyatrisk