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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.

End of the Road for the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill?

In March 2019, a couple of media reports noted that Tamil Nadu saw a drop in road crash fatalities by 24 per cent in 2018 when compared to 2017. This is welcome news and we can only hope this trend continues in the state and is replicated across the country. In spite of this news, however, I would argue that not much has changed on the road safety front in the country (or Tamil Nadu for that...know more

Driving in India - A Field Guide

We’ve all seen those ha-ha lists of things you will see/hear only in xyz country. Some of them hit quite close to home. Driving in India is one of those things that is often mocked and rightly so. While many of these are often exaggerated, here are some things we Indians love to do and probably think is completely the right way to drive. Turn right from the extreme right side of the road...know more

How safe is your neighbourhood?

No, we are not talking about getting mugged. This blog is about a different kind of violence - the violence of getting sideswiped by a vehicle when walking down your street. So how do you evaluate if your neighbourhood is a safe one in terms of road safety? Research has shown that a simple way to increase safety on the roads is to separate out road users such as pedestrians, non-motorised traffic...know more

Road safety infrastructure – making journeys safe

What makes a journey safe - better drivers or better roads? While we are agreed that India’s road safety record needs to improve, how we are going to go about it remains a matter of some debate. While most road users are convinced it is our roads which need improving, the powers that be would reply unblinkingly that accidents are caused by dangerous road user behaviour. Historically, the onus for...know more

TAMIL NADU 32: A Road Safety Tour of the districts - Part 2

In the previous issue of Public Newsense, we looked at Government of India’s attempt to strengthen road safety by amending the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. At that time, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2017, had been passed by the Lok Sabha and was awaiting introduction to the Rajya Sabha. Since then, the Amendment Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha, then referred to a Rajya Sabha Select...know more

Job Description: Researcher - Road Safety

Researcher - Road Safety is a key position for developing our work on advocating for stronger road safety rules and to highlight a need for a change in road user behaviour. know more

Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018

The report covers the road safety status across 180 countries and looks at measures being taken up to reduce road accidents. know more

Drive Safe: A Guide to the Rules of the Road

An illustrated booklet that explains some of the basic road rules of India with the reasoning behind the law. know more

Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016

In August 2016, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture to address the various concerns raised by State governments and other stakeholders. The Committee's report was finalised in January 2017. know more

Road Accidents in India 2017

An annual report brought out by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, that provides detailed analysis of road accidents. know more