Global Road Safety Initiative
Global Road Safety Partnership is a non-profit organisation which in partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) envisions of world free of road crash death and injury. Consumer VOICE joined hands for Global Road Safety Initiative with GRSP to promote safer roads for Indian commuters.
Every year Indian roads witness thousands of accidents caused by negligence, rash driving or drunken driving. Even pedestrians are not spared. Understanding the importance of road safety in our country, Consumer VOICE is now a frontrunner in advocating to the government for an immediate introduction of Road Safety Bill in the Parliament.
- To sensitize people at large about best practices for road safety in India which includes:
– National speed limits
– Imposing heavy fine in drink and driving
– Seat belt legislation and helmet wearing laws
- Urging the Government of India to pass the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill (2017)
The main challenges faced by Consumer VOICE are:
- Urging the government to recognise the importance of a Road Safety Bill
- Meeting and making the Parliament Standing Committee members understand the importance of stricter road safety laws and making them a part of the process
Road safety is not only an issue in urban cities but smaller cities as well. Therefore several interactions with state partners in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa were undertaken to give the campaign a boost. Meetings were arranged by Consumer VOICE with the government officials wherever possible.
Consumer VOICE Team attended Capacity Building exercises by GRSP Team in Bengaluru and Delhi in January and April 2016 respectively. The VOICE team also approached relevant ministries (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Ministry (MORTH) and Ministry of Consumer Affairs to push for the bill.
Some of the important activities that formed part of our campaign were:
- Consumer VOICE organized Cyclothon (Cycle Rally) event on January 7, 2017 on the occasion of Road Safety Week at Nehru Park, Neeti Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The theme of the Cyclothon was ‘Child Safety
and Safer Roads – Every Life Counts’.
- World Day of Remembrance (WDR) was organised in 2015, 2016 and 2017 from 15 th till 20th November in 10 states
- A National workshop was held on February 2015 to brief our state partners to garner support from MPs across states.
Salient Features of Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2017
- Penalty on Auto Companies: Heavy penalty will be imposed on auto companies caught manufacturing faulty vehicles.
- Hit and Run Scheme: Compensation will increase from Rs.25,000 in case of death to Rs.2 lakhs. For bodily injury, the amount will increase from Rs 12,500 to 50,000.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fund: A recommendation has been proposed to set up a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund under Section 164B which will be used to provide immediate relief to motor vehicle accident victims and hit cases.
- Aadhar linked Driving License: People applying for driving license need to provide their Aadhar number and need not visit the transport office to get a learners' license. It will be all online.
- Community Service as Punishment: The Amendment also proposes community service as a means of punishment.
- Penalties for Road Violations: 10 % annual increase in penalty for traffic violators.
- New Laws Concerning Juveniles: Juveline Violators would be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
- Protection of Good Samaritans: The Committee has made provision for the safeguarding of Good Samaritans, who are defined as individuals who render emergency service and assistance to road accident victims without expectation of a reward or compensation.
- We submitted a petition on December 2015 to the Hon'ble Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari and State Minister for an immediate introduction of Road Safety Bill in monsoon session at central level.
- At state level our partners have submitted petition to Transport Ministers of the respective states and copies have been sent to Shri Nitin Gadkari.
- We have received support from 58 Members of Parliament across all parties.
- Workshops and Candle Marches were held on World Day of Remembrance (WDR) for Road Safety across major states and cities in India like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Cuttack, Bhopal and Patna which were a huge success.