Consumer VOICE

Road Accidents: Stringent Laws are the need of the hour

 India’s daily death toll due to road accidents is more than four times the annual death toll from terrorism. Every person going on the road has risk of injury or death such as pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, passengers, etc. Drivers’ fault is the single most important factor responsible for accidents: Revealed by an analysis of road accident data by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.  This highlights the fact that Government must enforce stricter road rules in India and also provide adequate infrastructure to safeguard its citizens.

If a drunken person kills another person, it is considered murder but if a drunken driver kills a whole family on the road due to negligent driving, he can get away with a minimal fine.  This is a serious lapse of law in our country.    We all know how easy it is to get a driving license in India.  We also know how easy it is to escape after a road offence in India.  RTO offices are traditionally considered to be one of the biggest centers of corruption and bribe in India. 

As quoted by Dr. P. Hirishikesh, Chairman of Institute of Health Systems, nobody cares for traffic rules in India; they are treated like best practices rather than compulsory.  Talking about human errors is ridiculous in India.  But which human error are we talking about?  Unless there is a grand National mindset change (or strict governance) things will remain as they are.

At present an innocent person who is injured on the road for no fault of his has no support from the Government. The entire burden of treatment and support to the family falls on him. The Government has absolved itself of its duties and responsibilities.  This is morally not correct.  It is the fundamental duty of the Government to enforce laws and make roads safe for its citizens.

 Ministry of Road Transport and Highways initiated the Road Transport and Safety Bill (RTSB) which is expected to be presented in Parliament in the monsoon session.  The Group of Transport Ministers Conference has come up with some 30 plus recommendations to finalize changes in the 1988 Motor Vehicle Act.  One major recommendation by the GoM is stringent penal provisions for repeat offenders on grave traffic violations, by revoking the license for two years of a third time offender.  This will not only act as a deterrent but will definitely reduce the number of accidents on the roads. 

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