Road Safety Week 2019 – Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha

Road Safety Week 2019 – Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha

Road Safety Week 2019 – Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha

A week to learn, to live for years – Road safety week from 4th to 10th February 2019 So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. This is where road safety comes into the picture. Roads which join us together, are unfortunately also responsible for parting ways with our loved ones.  In India every year more than 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents and more than 5 lakh are severely injured. Taking road safety as a serious issue, India signed the Brasilia Declaration and committed to reducing road accidents and fatalities by half. But has that helped?

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India will observe 30th Road Safety Week Campaign from 4th to 10th February 2019.  The theme for this year campaign is “Sadak Suraksha – Jeevan Raksha”. Road Safety Week is organized to make people aware of the road safety rules and regulations and urging all the road users – whether pedestrians, drivers or pillion riders to follow the rules.

Present scenario of road safety in India

Annually over 1.5 lakh people lose their lives and another 5 lakhs are seriously injured in road crashes. Road accidents account for more than 44% of all un-natural accidental deaths in India and 51% of all those killed between the ages of 18 and 30 years. In addition to the loss of priceless human life and the emotional trauma suffered by those left behind, the economic hardship borne by the families who often lose the sole bread winner is severe. Those who are injured either suffer lifelong pain or permanent disability. The cost of recovery from an injury – emotional, physical and financial – is very high and takes a toll on the victims, their families and the community. The economic loss from road crashes is estimated at 3% of the GDP or Rs 4 lakh crores annually.

What can be done?

Only a strong legislation can save the precious lives lost in road accident every year. There is an urgent need to pass the long-pending Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017 by the government.

Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is important due to radical changes in a law which is now almost 30 year old. It proposes high penalties for various traffic offences, three-year jail for parents of minor drivers causing fatal accidents and a tenfold increase in compensation for families of accident victims.

What’s more-

  • For deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim’s family. Currently, the amount is just Rs 25,000.
  • The bill has a provision for protection of Good Samaritans. Those who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability.
  • The minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. 
  • Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000. 

 

What should people do

Having a driving license is not enough, every person should be aware about the do’s and don’ts while on road and follow them. Few of them are: –

The Do’s

  • Always wear helmet on two wheels
  • Always wear seat belt in four wheelers
  • Follow the speed limits
  • Be courteous toward other drivers
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks
  • Pay attention when you are driving, even if you are familiar with the area
  • Stop on traffic signal when light is RED
  • Always follow traffic rules

THE DON’Ts

  • DON’T drink alcohol and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs
  • Don’t try to overtake from the left and without indicators
  • DON’T play loud music in the car, it may distract you while driving
  • DON’T talk on your cell phone while driving
  • DON’T engage in other activities, while driving, that distract your attention or reduce your reaction time. Example eating, talking, typing messages on phone etc.

 

Action points for all

  • Let’s take a pledge to adhere to traffic rules
  • Come together to support the passage of MVA Bill 2017 in ongoing Budget session of Parliament
  • Follow traffic rules and request others to do so
  • Educate others about traffic rules

 

Consumer VOICE Press Release on Road Safety 2018

Consumer VOICE Press Release on Road Safety 2018

Children are our future and we simply cannot let it go waste on road accidents. Every year we lose innocent lives to road accidents caused due to rash driving, drunk driving or drivers not adhering to road rules.  In 2017 alone, more than 9,000 children died in road accidents comprising about 6.4% of all road users.

On this Children’s Day, Consumer VOICE and its state partners reminded the Government once again of this deadly fact and urged the government to save children by passing the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill 2017 in the upcoming winter session of the parliament. To draw the attention of the Government, a press release was issued by Consumer Voice and distributed by the state partners to leading local and national dailies.

For Media Coverage, please click here

Press Release

 

In 2017, more than 9,000 children died in road casualties in India comprising 6.4% of all the road users who died in road casualties. The number of injuries to children in road mishaps are also increasing every year.

Children are the future of our young nation and their safety and protection should be the priority. Road crashes are impacting children directly including their ability to attend the school. One reason children are more severely impacted by road traffic crashes is because of their limited physical, cognitive and social development which makes them more vulnerable road user than adults and susceptible to serious injury or death as a result of road crashes.

India is a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety which aims to bring down road accidents by 50% by 2020. This can only be achieved by having a stricter and stronger road safety law. The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill 2017 has already been cleared by Lok Sabha in April, 2017 and is due for passage by the Rajya Sabha.

It is high time that we declare “Road Safety A National Priority” considering the fact that more than 400 people are dying on roads daily which are largely preventable.

Consumer VOICE is leading a National Coalition of Road Safety which includes other organisations working on road safety such as Parisar, CUTS International and CAG (Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group). This National Coalition has been appealing to the Hon’ble Prime Minister & Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways for enhancing road safety for many months now.

If this road safety bill is further deferred, we will be putting at risk more precious lives before the next session of the Parliament can adopt it. These casualties may include thousands of innocent children and youth in their productive years of life.  

Some of the key provisions of the proposed bill include:

  1. It proposes to make safety belt or child restraint system mandatory in car for children below 14 years with a stiff penalty of Rs 1000.
  2. Guardian/Owner shall be deemed to be guilty with Rs. 25000 penalty and/or 3 years imprisonment with cancellation of registration of vehicle for juveniles’ drivers.
  3. Penalty of Rs 1000 and subsequent disqualification of driving license for not wearing helmet.

As per the annual publication ‘Road Accidents in India-2017’ a report released by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways there were a total of 4,64,910 road accidents, 1,47,913, road traffic deaths and 4,70,975 persons injured in the year 2017. (www.missionroadsafety.com)