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Road Safety

This project seeks to highlight road accidents, the magnitude of the problem and the need for robust legislation, road safety measures and a change in user behaviour to prevent fatalities   and injuries.

There is one fatality every 4 minutes on Indian roads. The World Health Organization(WHO) notes that though India has only one per cent of the world’s roads, the country accounts for 10 per cent of road accident fatalities. Reversing this worsening trend requires a concerted effort on various fronts – changing user behaviour; stronger legislation that covers aspects of vehicle safety, etc; better enforcement of legislation; proper road design and improved data collection regarding traffic.

Currently, a Road Transport and Safety Bill has been tabled before Parliament that seeks to replace the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Bill went through several drafts that saw the dilution of penalties and road safety norms.

In addition, based on a Supreme Court directive, the Government of India has issued guidelines on ensuring that citizens who provide help during or after an accident (Good Samaritans) are not harassed by police, hospitals or other authorities. This was in response to studies indicating that people do not come forward to provide aid to accident victims because of a fear of legal and other hassles.

The project aims to increase awareness of the need for stronger road safety laws among the public, legislators, police, media and other stakeholders. This would mobilise stakeholders to call for road safety aspects of the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015 to be returned to its earlier, undiluted norms, and to advocate for a Good Samaritan law. The project will focus on 3 states - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.

The project hopes to ensure the inclusion of the road safety norms that were removed from the original draft of the Bill, as well as a Good Samaritan Law.

Was that drink worth it?

Image courtesy: European Transport Safety Council So, you like your beer. Maybe you even like getting drunk. Maybe you think, it’s the one weakness you have; or that you get to be young once – why not be a bit reckless too? Never mind what your idea of reckless is – getting drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car must not be one of them. Here’s why: Alcohol affects your judgement,...know more

Slow down!

In the rat race that is the urban lifestyle, we constantly have our foot on the accelerator, trying to get from point A to B in impossibly short times. Small gap in traffic opens in front of us and the instinct is to floor it and close the gap. God forbid someone else reacts quicker, sneaks in, and gets ahead of us! And then there are those situations when the intersection is several 100m ahead...know more

It’s a no-brainer. Wear a helmet!

I have been driving a bike since 2012, and often see two-wheeler accidents. This caused me to look at the data to understand why two-wheeler involvement in accidents was so high, especially as I was two-wheeler rider. The Government of India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) report Accidents in India 2015 says road accidents have been increasing every year and nearly one-third of...know more

Living Dangerously

Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable groups on our roads though walking is most environment-friendly and sustainable mode of transport. Legally, motorists are required to give Right of Way to pedestrians but rarely does a motorist in India do so. CAG spoke a few elderly pedestrians on the travails of walking in India. know more

Road safety - the basics

The years 2011-2020 have been designated as the Decade of Action for Road Safety by the WHO. This is global acknowledgment of the gravity of road safety issues across the world and the lives being lost to it. Internationally, road accidents kill as many people as the major pandemics, malaria and TB (Source: National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). Mistakenly perceived as an inevitable...know more

The Hindu: Tamil Article 5

The final article of a 5 part series published in the Tamil edition of The Hindu, talks of the many road design issues relating to highways and the lack of road safety infrastructure. The article goes on to list road safety measures being implemented in countries like Sweden. know more

The Hindu: Tamil Article 4

The fourth of a 5 part series published in the Tamil edition of The Hindu, talks of the Good Samaritan Guidelines issued by the Government of India that ensures that anyone who helps a traffic accident victim is not embroiled in complicated red tape in hospitals or with the police or the courts. The article also notes that many lives can be saved if accident victims reach a hospital within the...know more

The Hindu: Tamil Article 3

The third of a 5 part series published in the Tamil edition of The Hindu, talks of how vulnerable road users like pedestrians are rarely given space on the roads. Typically pavements are rare, forcing pedestrians to walk amidst traffic or weave around parked vehicles that take up the pavement. Talking of the high incidence of accidents where pedestrians are injured or killed in India, the article...know more

The Hindu: Tamil Article 2

The second of a 5 part series published in the Tamil edition of The Hindu, talks about the myriad ways we all break the traffic rules on a daily basis; on how driving licenses in India are easy to come by and how a strong legislation that punishes violators and makes them think twice about becoming repeat offenders is the need of the hour.  know more

The Hindu: Tamil Article 1

The first of a 5 part series published in the Tamil edition of The Hindu, talks of road safety situation, or lack thereof, in India, highlighting the fact that over 50% of 'accidents' are actually due to negligent driving.  know more