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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.

Approach: 

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.

Outcomes: 

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.

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

Disabling stereotypes about disabled driving

    An efficient transportation policy is key to developing a healthy economy. Hence India’s massive investments into transport infrastructure can be expected to bear rich fruit in the years to come. However, development cannot walk roughshod over a few neglected minorities, and it’s not just principles of social justice that should hold us back; commonsense principles of the...know more

The Indian journey to the scientific investigation of road accidents: are we there yet?

Picture courtesy: The Indian Express   Road accidents claim lives and limbs by the thousands, across the country. While the mere numbers must tempt traffic policemen to arrive at an accident site, do a preliminary interview with eyewitnesses, apportion blame and dispose of the accident debris, there is more to a road accident investigation than the cursory nod it currently receives...know more

Tamilnadu 32: A Road Safety Tour of the districts

An oft quoted data, when it comes to road safety in India, is that every hour, 17 people die on the country’s roads. That’s 408 people per day. Yet most of us Indians drive in a most irresponsible fashion. Perhaps we believe that accidents are things that only happen to other people. Maybe that is why we are so indifferent to the daily news reports of road crashes. Unless several hundred...know more

Tamilnadu 32

The event is a forum to discuss the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, with a focus on road safety. CAG invites you to join us in working towards safer roads! know more

Letter to DGP on the need for Tamil Nadu Police to adhere to road

The Traffic Police are the enforcers of road rules. Unfortunately, they can be seen violating the rules. CAG wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai and the Director General of Police calling on them to proactively ensure that the police personnel obey traffic rules, thus setting the right example for the citizens to follow. know more

Letter to Commissioner of Police on the need for Tamil Nadu Police to adhere to road

The Traffic Police are the enforcers of road rules. Unfortunately, they can be seen violating the rules. CAG wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai and the Director General of Police calling on them to proactively ensure that the police personnel obey traffic rules, thus setting the right example for the citizens to follow. 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