WDR

Road Safety Network submitted recommendations to mitigate road crashes and deaths during lockdown

Road Safety Network submitted recommendations to mitigate road crashes and deaths during lockdown

So far, during the lockdown a total of 1,137 crashes are recoded nationwide and 274 road crash deaths are reported. Consumer VOICE along with its partners have been maintaining a ‘Road Crash Tracker’ to document road crash deaths and traffic violations during the lockdown since March 25 until now. Road crashes killed 1,51,417 people in 2018.If on one hand the graph of COVID-19 cases is rising in India, on the other hand the number of road accidents especially of migrant labourers who are trying to return home during the ongoing lockdown is also steadily increasing.  As per reports, India recorded about 600 road crashes in the first two phases of the lockdown. The scenes of migrant labourers trying to reach home by adopting desperate measures is too hard to even watch on TV channels or read in newspapers. The “pathetic condition of migrant labourers…is nothing but a human tragedy”, as has been rightly put by the Madras High Court where lakhs of migrant labourers have resorted to desperate measures and are forced to return home after having rendered jobless and homeless.

While the central and respective state governments are trying their best to help migrants return home safely, there are several risk factors which need immediate attention. Risk factors like speeding, driving while fatigued, not wearing helmets continue to be responsible for the fatalities across the states. Speeding on empty roads has been one of the most common reasons for road crash deaths across States. Pedestrians in both urban areas, as well as State and National Highways, remain at tremendous risk from speeding vehicles. There is an urgent need to effectively enforce speed limits. Media reports indicate that driver fatigue combined with speeding has been responsible for the recent crashes.

In order to combat this, Road Safety Network, a National Coalition of organizations promoting safe roads in India has submitted a list of 15 recommendations to the Home Ministry to ensure the safety of migrants traveling on road. The recommendations are aimed at mitigating specific risk factors like speeding, driving while fatigued, overcrowding etc. Some of the recommendations are specifically towards the safety of migrant workers returning home” said, Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE organisation part of Road Safety Network.

These deaths were probably not even part of the framework as it was not anticipated. But it is now time to act!

(Facts sourced from various national dailies)

Stakeholder consultation on Road Safety for New Motor Vehicles Act in Uttar Pradesh

Stakeholder consultation on Road Safety for New Motor Vehicles Act in Uttar Pradesh

Stakeholder consultation on Road Safety for New Motor Vehicles Act in Uttar Pradesh

Consumer VOICE in association with Consumer Guild held stakeholder consultations on Road Safety in various cities in UP including Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Bareilly and Gorakhpur. The main focus of the consultations included the implementation of the provisions of the Moto Vehicle Amendment Act 2019.

Kanpur

Consumer VOICE in association with Consumer Guild, Lucknow organised a stakeholders’ Consultation and workshop on Strengthening Road Safety in Uttar Pradesh on 7th November 2019 at Kaushalpuri in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

The main focus of the workshop was on New Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 and its provisions for ensuring road safety in the state. Shri Sunil Dutt Yadav, ARTO Enforcement was the keynote speaker. Other stakeholders attending the workshop were Shri Arun Kumar Pathak MLC; Shri BhudharNarain Misra, EX- MLA; Traffic Inspector Arvind Kumar Sisodiya; Shri Vinod Yadav; Traffic Inspector Padam Mohan Misra, Secretary, USKS.

Varanasi

Consumer VOICE in association with Consumer Guild, Lucknow organised a stakeholders Consultation cum workshop on Strengthening Road Safety in Uttar Pradesh on 2nd December 2019 at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The main objective of this workshop was to strengthen road safety and implementation of New Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019. Shri BalaLakhendra, Professor at Department of Mass and Communication, B.H.U. inaugurated the workshop as the chief guest.  Important stakeholders attending the workshop were Shri Kanhaiya Gupta, PTO, Transport Department, Varanasi; Shri Rajesh Yadav , Traffic Inspector; Shri Rajesh Kumar Misra , Inspector , Police department; Shri Dhirendra Rai, Assistant Professor, B.H.U.; Shri Abhishek Srivastava, Consumer Guild.

Regional media supported the cause and provided good coverage to it.

Prayagraj

Consumer VOICE in association with Consumer Guild, Lucknow organised a stakeholders Consultation cum workshop on Strengthening Road Safety in Uttar Pradesh on 9th December 2019 at Kulbhaskar Ashram PG College, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.

The main speakers who attened the workshop were Shri Harendra Singh Yadav – Traffic Inspector, Dr. Archana Sinha -Principal PG College, Prof. S P Sharma, Ms. Rinki Sharma-Head Projects – Consumer VOICE, Shri Abhishek Srivastava – President Consumers Guild. Students, faculty members, road safety experts, traffic police officials attended the event and discussion took place about Motor Vehicles Act 2019 changed provisions.

Regional media supported the cause and provided good coverage to it.

Bareilly

Consumers Guild –Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and Consumer VOICE in an effort of working towards strengthening road safety in UP organized a workshop in Bareilly at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. LPG Bottling Plant. The main objective of the workshop was to the implementation of the provisions of the new Motor Vehicle Act 2019. The main speakers at workshop were Shri Subhash Chandra Gangwar-SP Traffic, Dr.Anil Gupta- Regional Transport Officer, Shri RP Singh-Additional RTO, Er.Sudhir Gupta- Chairman Institution of Engineers (IEI) Shri Sanjay Thakur-Territory Manager BPCL along with Shri Hemant Upadhyay Advisor Consumer VOICE and Shri Abhishek Srivastava-Chairman-Consumer’s Guild. The programme was attended by commercial drivers of hazardous goods, BPCL Officials, representatives from civil societies, police, transport and traffic departments and media.

Gorakhpur

To strengthen the road safety in the state, Consumers Guild with support from Consumer  VOICE organised a stakeholders workshop at Gorakhpur-Uttar Pradesh on 13 November, 2019. The main speakers were Shri DD Mishra, Regional Transport Officer-Gorakhpur, Shri Jaspal Singh-Social Worker, Dr.K.Sharma-Social Worker, Shri Shamshad  Alam- Vice-chairman Consumer’s Guild, Shri Sudhir Jha- President Local Vyapar Sabha, Praveen K.Srivastava- Prayas Ek Parivartan Shri Abhishek Srivastava Chairman Consumer Guild along with representatives from civil societies and media were present at the event. The speakers focused on strengthening road safety measures as per the provisions of the new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019.

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

Road Safety Week is organized every year to increase awareness among the citizens of India. In India every year more than 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents and more than 5 lakh are severely injured. This year the 31st National Road Safety Week was observed across India from 11th Jan – 17th Jan 2020 with Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Defence Minister of India inaugurating the ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 13th January. The theme for this year was ‘Bringing change through youth power’. The 5 major risk factors of road safety that were addressed during the week were – Over speeding, helmet, seatbelt, drunk-driving and usage of mobile phones while driving.Consumer VOICE, which has been a pioneer of road safety, observed Road Safety Week along with state partners for Safer Roads in India and highlighted the importance of New Motor Vehicles Act 2019. As per the Ministry’s latest statement in Lok Sabha the number of deaths caused due to road accidents in India reduced by at least 9% in first two months after the amended MV Act came into effect on September 2019. The amendment Act will help to reduce the road fatalities and injuries with the stringent penalties / other provisions and enforce safe driving on Indian roads.

Lucknow, UP

 

In Lucknow, Consumer VOICE organized an expert session-cum-sensitization workshop activity with participation from consumer organizations, road safety experts, road accident victims, among others. Consumer Coordination Council (an apex body of Consumer Organizations across India) supported the National Road Safety Week . In this event heads of consumer organizations from around 23 states / UTs participated. The event was to echo the voices of road safety and implementation of MVA 2019 across the country.

Addressing the event Ms. Rinki Sharma-Head Projects, Consumer VOICE said, “The amendment Act will help to reduce the road fatalities and injuries and change the road habits of citizens who are breaking the rules”. Besides representatives of consumer organizations, lawyers, road safety experts including road traffic victims were also present in the workshop.

Team members of Consumer VOICE, Delhi Shri Hemanth Upadhyay and Ms.Rinki Sharma along with Shri Abhishek Srivastava – Chairman of Consumer’s Guild, Lucknow submitted a memorandum on road safety to Transport Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Dheeraj Prasad Sahu and Shri Ganga Phal, Additional Transport Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh. The main objective of submitting the memorandum is to strengthen road safety  and implementation of Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019 in the state of Uttar Pradesh and requested the state government to notify the amended rules and implement it on priority without any dilution of the provisions.

Guwahati, Assam

The Assam state government organised a road safety awareness program on 11th Jan 2020 to sensitize all stakeholders on safer road mobility. Activists from Consumer Legal Protection Forum (CLPF), Assam state partner for Consumer VOICE, actively participated in the workshop to learn and further share their experiences. Consumer Legal Protection Forum appreciated the efforts of the Assam government for the implementation of New Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.

Consumer VOICE along with its state partners also shared a press note appreciating the government for their efforts towards implementation of Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

Media Coverage on Road Safety Week

Road Safety Network urges government to strengthen helmet law

Despite having a dismal record of road fatalities of two wheelers in 2019, Government of Gujarat has made the use of helmets optional in the state. The number of casualties stood at 55,336 in 2019 with 43,614 (79%) of them due to non-use of helmets.  Of the 7996 fatalities in 2018, 2546 two-wheeler users (riders and pillions) were killed in the state of which 1546 were found not to be using a helmet. These startling facts were hardly a deterrent for the government and it is sad that the government instead of encouraging commuters to wear helmets, has made it optional.In order to avoid similar moves by other states, the members of the Road Safety Network, a national coalition of NGOs working to promote road safety in India, and the Active Traffic Consultative Committee (ATCC) have submitted representation to Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari urging him to immediately bring the amended section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act into force.

The use of helmets always has been and is still mandatory under the law, including for pillion riders. The amended Motor Vehicles Act in fact takes away any power of the State to provide exemptions, other than that provided to Sikh men wearing turbans. This amendment has been made specifically to strengthen the helmet law to address the high fatality and injury rates amongst users of two-wheelers in the country.

Shri Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE Road Safety Network issued a statement in this regard and rightly pointed out that “the pronouncement of making ‘helmet optional’ by the state of Gujarat is going to set a wrong precedent for other states which is also contrary to the intent of the central legislation which aims to reduce road fatalities and strengthen road safety in India. The Union Government must act to prevent such dilution of law by the states”, adds Mr. Sanyal.

On behalf of The Road Safety Network, Mr Ashim Sanyal, therefore wrote a letter to Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways, to immediately strengthen the helmet law by bringing into force amended Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Click here to read the letter
Click here to read the media coverage

World Day of Remembrance 2019

World Day of Remembrance 2019

World Day of Remembrance 2019

“Life is not a Car Part”

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November every year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. This year’s slogan of World Day of Remembrance is ‘Life is not a Car Part’.Consumer VOICE considers Road Safety as an important safety issue for consumers. Considering this need we are educating consumers and spreading awareness on various road safety aspects through educational and outreach activities. The entire world experiences a number of road accidents and serious injuries. This annual global event represents a significant opportunity to call attention to the pathetic road safety situation in India.

 

This year Consumer VOICE along with its state partners organised various event on the occasion of WDR :

Media supported the events and provide wide coverage in the states.

Lucknow Uttar Pradesh:

Consumer Guild, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi, organized “Shraddhanjali Sabha” to pay tribute to road traffic victims on the occasion of World Day of Remembrance on 17th Nov 2019. A peaceful walk started from Kakori By Pass to the entry point of Lucknow – Agra Express Highway, Lucknow Uttar Pradesh and demanded safer roads for all. They also demanded the State Government to strongly implement the new rules of MVA 2019.

More than 50 people participated in the peace walk, including representatives from NGOs, lawyers, students, doctors, Nursing Association, bankers, corporate sector representative, Ex-Army Welfare Federation. Many Victims /Family members joined the event. This year’s slogan of World Day of Remembrance –“Life is not car part” was prominently displayed on banners and placards. Early notification of MVAA was demanded by the participants. The walkathon was ended by two minutes silence (mourn) in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Ambala, Haryana:

Citizens Awareness Group, with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi organized an event to strengthen road safety and tribute meeting for road safety victims on November 16th November 2019 at Amarapali hotel Ambala-Haryana. Shri Satyanarayan SHO Traffic, Shri Bhushan, Senior Road Safety Inspector, Shri Rashit Bajaj, Senior Road Safety Associate participated and addressed the gathering. They discussed about the positive aspects of theMVAA. Shri Surinder Verma-Chairman Citizens Awareness Group and Smt.Reena Singla Secretary were present along with people from NGOs, representative of CSOs working on road safety, and lawyer’s etc.It was covered well by Media. The tribute meeting was ended by two minutes silence in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Guwahati, Assam:

Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam, with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi organized a peaceful walk from Guwahati Medical College Road, Bhangagarh on Sunday 17 November in association with Chakshu, Guwahati to gave tribute on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and demanded safer roads for all. Dr. Karavi Barman, Principal-In-Charge, NEF Law College inaugurated the peace walk, students, residents ,representatives from NGOs /CSOs working on road safety and lawyers participated in the walk. It was a very successful event and media covered it well through print and online coverage. Strict Implementation of MVAA was demanded by the participants. The walkathon ended with a two-minute silence in the memory of road accident victims.

Delhi:

Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti, Delhi with support from Consumer VOICE organized a peace walk at Mayur vihar in Delhi with participation from Local residents mainly parents of school going children. Citizen demanded for strict implementation of MVAA .A talk was also organized in which Shri S C Sharma of Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti and Shri Hemant Upadhyay Consumer VOICE addressed the parents and children about road safety and main provisions of MVAA. The peace walk was ended by two minutes silence in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh:

A Stakeholders Consultation on Strengthening Road Safety in the State of Madhya Pradesh organized by National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment (NCHSE), Bhopal with support from Consumer VOICE (New Delhi) on 19th Nov 2019. The objective of the event was to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and to create awareness about the road safety to minimize road accidents. Shri Naresh Annotia, DSP,Traffic stressed that youth need to be disciplined and follow traffic rules for not only to reduce the chances of road accidents, but to help smooth flow of traffic and reduce vehicular pollution in cities. Shri Himanshu Tiwari, Subedar (Traffic) spoke at length about the magnitude of road accidents, their causes and the lives it takes every year in India and in Madhya Pradesh. He explained various precautionary measures and traffic signage which every motor vehicle driver should know and follow to remain safe.

During discussion it was highlighted that despite Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 became effective from 1st September 2019 and several states have implemented it, Government of Madhya Pradesh is yet to take a decision to implement it. It was also highlighted that the new provisions of MVAA have been made with the view to discourage offences and that the increase in penalties are not only a means of deterrent but also not high in real term if one consider the price escalation during the 30 years.

Click here to read all the media updates