Reducing Fatalities by 50% by 2020 – Where are we Heading?

Reducing Fatalities by 50% by 2020 – Where are we Heading?

Reducing Fatalities by 50% by 2020 – Where are we Heading?

Are our roads safe? Are we doing enough to make our roads safe? As a signatoryto Brasilia Declaration (Nov 2015), India is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50% by 2020. But the big question is
have we been able to or are we proceeding towards that vision? Well the answer is a BIG NO. Road traffic crash related deaths and injuries in India have become a very big concern for our country which registers for more than 10 per cent of the global road crash fatalities. As per the recent report released by Ministry of Road Transport and
Highways, a total of 480,652 road accidents took place in India in 2016, which resulted in the loss of 150,785 human lives and left 494,625 injured. That means the country has around 55 road accidents every hour killing 17 people.

These fatalities have prompted a need for the amendment of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988. We and our partner organizations have been sensitizing the policymakers on the same which finally resulted in the drafting of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2017 which been passed by the Lok Sabha and is soon going to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

Risk Factors

The risk factors of speeding and drunken driving are not new and if you are living in a city like Delhi, you must have encountered these factors in your daily life. 73,896 people ie 49% people have been killed due to overspeeding in 2016 while 6,131 have been killed while driving under the influence of alcohol. Higher the speed, greater the risk of a severe crash and increases likelihood of serious injury or death specially for pedestrians, cyclists, and two-wheelers riders. On the other handimpairment due to alcohol consumption leads to poor
judgment, increased reaction time, lowered vigilance and decreased ability to see well.

Two Wheeler Deaths

India registers maximum road deaths among two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders. Maximum deaths in two-wheeler category are because of head injuries and not wearing helmet.In 2016, 52,500 (34.8%) fatalities were among two- wheeler drivers/riders.Not wearing helmet while driving or riding on a motorized two wheeler increases risk of head injury, severity and death while wearing a good-quality helmet can reduce risk of death from a road crash by 40% and severe injury by over 70%.

Seat Belt and Child Restraint System

Seat Belt and Child Restraint System are secondary safety measures but they are crucial ones nonetheless. They reduce risk of hitting interior of car or other passengers.In 2016, non-wearing of seat-belt caused 5638 deaths among vehicle drivers & passengers in India.

Mandatory use of child restraints (infant seat or child seat) can reduce child deaths by 54–80% in event of a crash.

But we will not be able to achieve what we have committed in Brasilia Declaration if these key issues are not addressed and this can only be possible if the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill is passed. The passage of the Bill is key to improve road safety and help India meet its target of reducing by half the
burden of road injuries and fatalities by 2020.

To fulfil India’s pledge to the UN, Consumer Voice is organising its Annual Road Safety Week in several cities in India along with the state partners from February 1-7, 2018 on the theme of “5 Days 5 Pledges- for Road Safety” from 1 to 7 February.Through our events and workshops we will be focusing on Speed, Drunk Driving,Helmet, Seat belts and Child restraints and hope to spread the message of road safety to one and all.

Reducing Fatalities by 50% by 2020 – Where are we Heading?

Help Road Crash Victims without Fear – SC Issues Guidelines on Protecting Good Samaritans

Help Road Crash Victims without Fear – SC Issues Guidelines on Protecting Good Samaritans

‘Man bleeds to death on Delhi road after hit and run case’ or ‘Accident victim left to bleed and die in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram’ these are a few headlines that we get to read almost every day. Other than rash and negligent driving and not following traffic rules, one of the main reasons for high rate of road accident deaths in India is the inability of the victims to receive timely medical attention. The Law Commission of India Report of 2006, states that ‘at least 50 per cent of the fatality can be averted if the victims are admitted to a hospital within the first one hour.’ A World Health Organisation (WHO) report also states that ‘even the most sophisticated and well equipped prehospital trauma care system can do little if bystanders fail to recognize the seriousness of a situation, call for help and provide basic care until help arrives.’

A major impediment to victims getting timely help is the panic among bystanders that they could get entangled in legal procedures. This is the reason why a ‘Good Samaritan’ legal protection is essential. Though the Parliament hasn’t passed any such law but on March 30, 2016, thanks to the Supreme Court of India, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans.

The guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court include the following:

1.     If you are a Good Samaritan you will be treated respectfully and without any discrimination on the grounds of gender, nationality, religion, and caste.

2.     The Good Samaritan shall be allowed to leave by the police after having received all the necessary inputs

3.     The Good Samaritan can keep his or identity secret and shall not be compelled to reveal any details.

4.     Any individual, except an eyewitness, who calls the police to inform them of an accidental injury or death need not reveal his or her personal details such as full name, address or phone number.

There are several provisions in case a Good Samaritan wants to become a witness to the road accident. He or she would be treated with respect and care and the examination of questioning of the Good Samaritan shall be conducted at the convenience of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan if called at the police station he or she would be examined in a single examination within a reasonable time-frame.

Though these guidelines are a welcome relief, but much more needs to be done to motivate people to become Good Samaritans. Proper sensitization is needed to encourage people to help road crash victims without fear and hesitance.

10 Things To Do When You See a Victim of Road Accident

10 Things To Do When You See a Victim of Road Accident

A total of 4,80,652 people have been injured in road accidents in 2016 out of which 1,50,785 precious lives have been lost as per the latest MORTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) data. However, many of these lives could have been saved if they had received timely intervention. But due to the apathy of people many simply pass by without helping. Some attribute this to their hesitation and fear of having to deal with concerned authorities namely the police while others are simply reluctant.

So, this year, on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR), on 19th November, let’s promise ourselves to be responsible citizens and help road accident victims.

The theme of this year’s event is “2020 Target: Reduce Road Fatalities and Serious Injuries by 50%” and one of the ways in which it can be done is by helping road accident victims. Given the focus on the 2020 target, this year’s commemoration also provides an opportunity to highlight India’s commitment to meet the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.6, which calls for a halving of road traffic deaths and injuries.

Here are a few important things that you can do as a responsible citizen to save a precious life before the arrival of the ambulance:

1. Remain Calm – Do not panic. It is important for you and the victim to remain calm as it will help you take rational decisions. Do not allow any person at the scene, be it the victim or bystander to panic.

2. Assess the Accident Spot – Move closer to the accident area, to understand if the accident involves only a single person or there are more. Be careful and check for leaking CNG and petrol pipes, live wires or broken glass.

3. Call the Emergency Services – Dial 102 for ambulance and 100 for police. Give the exact location of the accident, so that they do not waste time in reaching the accident spot.

4. Stop Cars and Ask For Help – If there aren’t too many people on the road, try and stop other cars or bikes for help. Request other bystanders to help you.

5. Call Family and Friends – Check the last dialed number from the victim’s mobile or check for frequently called numbers or names like Mom, Dad, Hubby, Wife etc.

6. Provide First Aid – If you know or are trained to give CPR (Chest pressure for heart rate / Mouth to Mouth Oxygen transfer) do it if the victim is unconscious. If it involved a car accident, search for a first aid kit inside car or take help from the bystanders.

7. Check for Pulse – Try and assess the condition of the victim. If the victim is unconscious and not responding, then you might have to immediately take the victim to the nearest hospital without waiting for the ambulance. Remember to take care of the neck and head portion. Lesser movements and road jerks will help if you have given a little head and neck support to the victim’s body. However, avoid moving the victim, unless absolutely necessary or you are trained in it as you might be hurting the victim and causing further damage.

8. Help Keep the Traffic Moving – Make space for ambulance to come, so keep the traffic moving. Some curious people simply slow down their vehicles to check out an accident. Just let them know it is nothing serious. You should also warn the oncoming traffic and let drivers know that there is an accident and they need to avoid the area.

9. Comfort the Victim – The accident victim is scared and even hurt. Talk to the victim if he or she is conscious with comforting and encouraging words like ‘ambulance is on the way’ and ‘nothing serious has happened.’

10. Accompany the Victim – Do accompany the victim to the hospital till the arrival of the family members and provide all the support to the police to help them register a case.

So on this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, let’s take a pledge to help others today as tomorrow it might be you!

Reducing Fatalities by 50% by 2020 – Where are we Heading?

How Safe Are Our Roads for Children?

How Safe Are Our Roads for Children?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989 recognizes that “every child has the inherent right to life” but sadly their lives are being snatched by the cruel hands of God at a very early age and one of the main reasons being that of road traffic deaths. Children account for more than 186,000 annual road traffic deaths globally. More than 220 children (5-14 years) all over the world meet a deadly end because of road accidents. In India the scene is equally dismal. In 2016, more than 10,000 children died in road accidents according to the latest MORTH report.  

Some of the ways in which we can reduce road traffic deaths especially among children are by bringing in effective road safety laws and stricter enforcement of these laws. The international best practices on road safety should also be adopted in India to ensure a safe life for all children. These include:Indian road safety record is one of the worst in the world and children are the worst affected. They are indirectly affected due to negligent driving, rash driving, and drunken driving. Another major cause for road accidents among children is the casual attitude of the adults who do not ensure seat belts or helmets for children.

Speed Management

Setting appropriate speed limits especially when carrying school children in vans should be immediately implemented. As per the Global Status Report on Road Safety, World Health Organization, 2015, an adult pedestrian, the risk of dying if struck by a car travelling at less than 50km/h is below 20%. The chances of accident increases substantially if the speed of the vehicle increases too.

Seat Belts

Even parents forget to ensure this rule of making children compulsorily wear seat belts. In India it is not common for children or adults to wear seat belts if they are occupying the back seat. Did you know that correctly wearing a seat-belt reduces the risk of a fatal injury by up to 50%for front seat occupants and by up to 75% for rear seat occupants?

Child Restraints

If a child wears appropriate restraint as per their size and weight, it will significantly reduce accidents.

Let’s make India a better and safer place for all our children and surely one of the best ways of doing so is making our roads child safe.

To know more about Consumer Voice’s Road Safety Initiative, click here 

Press Release on Road Safety Urging the Government to Pass MVA Bill 2017

Press Release on Road Safety Urging the Government to Pass MVA Bill 2017

Consumer VOICE, working for Road Safety Initiative to benefit all the citizens of India urges to the Prime Minister to pass the Motor Vehicles Amendment bill 2017 in upcoming winter session of parliament. The following press release was sent to the media.

Date: 4th October 2017

Consumer Voice Urges The Prime Minister To Pass Motor Vehicles Bill 2017 In Upcoming Winter Session Of Parliament

India Loses 413 Lives in Road Accidents Every Day in the Absence Of A Strong Road Safety Law

New Delhi: Consumer VOICE submitted memorandum to the Hon’ble Prime Minister  Shri Narendra Modi , urging  to pass  Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2017 in the upcoming winter session of Parliament and save 413 lives which are lost in road accidents every day.  Once the bill is cleared from the Rajya Sabha, it will ensure the formation of a new stricter law which will help in saving precious human lives lost in road accidents every year.

In the press interaction meet organised on 4th October at Press Club of India,New Delhi  Mr. Ashim Sanyal ,Chief Operating Officer ,Consumer VOICE said that the passage of Bill is crucial in the upcoming winter session .The provisions of proposed bill has very important elements for saving lives on roads and therefore parties across political lines should ensure its passage during the winter session”.

Mr.Dave Cliff, Chief Executive Officer, Global Road Safety Partnership and global  road safety expert shared his view point  on global road safety scenario and success stories on how countries have put stricter laws in reducing the road fatalities. He emphasised that India can achieve its goal of reducing fatalities by 50% by the year 2020 through passage of MVA Bill 2017 and its implementation by state governments.

As per the annual publication ‘Road Accidents in India-2016’ a report released by Ministry for Road Transport and Highways on Sept. 06, 2017 total 4,80,652 road accidents, 1,50,785, road traffic deaths took place and 4,94,624 persons were injured in India in year 2016. Everyday-1,317 Accidents take place and 413 Persons killed on Indian Roads.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2017 is already cleared by Lok Sabha in last session and is due for passage by the Rajya Sabha.