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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.

Navigating the Roads

Roads in India are invariably geared towards a small group of users. The needs of people who are old, slow, differently-abled, etc are rarely considered by those who design roads and by those who use them. To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3) we spoke to 2 such people on problems faced in navigating Indian roads.  know more

Right Of Way - Give way to emergency vehicles

Ambulances getting stuck in traffic are a common sight in India. It is upto us as road users to give way to emergency vehicles, such as ambulance, fire engines and police. But how do you do so in a safe manner? Watch the video and share widely!  Give way to emergency vehicles. Save a life! know more

Stop, Think, Proceed

Men constitute around 81% of road accident injuries, but we tend to forget that it is not just the victims who are affected. Their families too bear the burden - economically, socially, emotionally. CAG talks to Ganesh and his sister, Sumathi about how a road accident in 2006 changed their lives.  know more

A history of traffic signage

The other day, at the traffic lights, the “No U Turn” sign, with the red line slashed across the bent arrow, caught my eye. It occurred to me that these signs must be standard across the world. Otherwise, in addition to dealing with each country’s traffic idiosyncrasies, one would also have to learn and unlearn traffic signs. This got me wondering when this standardisation came about and what...know more

A shout out to MTC bus drivers

Pedestrians are at the bottom of the pecking order of Indian roads. They are a group to be honked at, splashed with dirty rainwater, and given nasty looks for having the temerity to cross the road when there a motorised vehicle within a one-kilometre radius. And of course, pavements for pedestrians are a waste of space. In short, pedestrians should not be allowed to exist. This being the...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