“India is a signatory to the UN’s Decadal Action Plan of reducing road traffic fatalities by 50% by 2020. But India is facing severe problems in terms of deteriorating road safety. The number of fatalities has been increasing steadily and stands provisionally at 1,46,000 deaths in the year 2015. As a signatory to THE Decade of Action Plan, reiterated in Brasilia, India is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by half by the year 2020.” Said Mr K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation, a Geneva based global body working worldwide for better and safer roads.
K K Kapila, Chairman,
International Road Federation
Number of Road Accident deaths in India being the highest in the world, higher penalties for traffic offences will help in reducing fatal road accidents.
“Clearing and implementation of the new MVA, which has provisions for strict Enforcement with appropriate penalties, accompanied by public awareness of the laws will be a critical factor in reducing road traffic injuries and deaths. Once the proposed amendment is passed, traffic rule violators will have to cough up hefty penalties – almost 10 times more than what they pay now – for offences such as overloading.
“Several initiatives for improving road safety, such as the much awaited amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), improvements in roads from the engineering perspective such as road safety audits at all stages of road construction, beginning right from the planning stage to besides identification and remedy of black spots in a sustained systematic manner, on war footing, can help drastically bring down fatal road accidents in the country” said Mr Kapila.
“The recommendations made by the Parliamentary panel for incorporation in the Central Motor Vehicle Act to impose strict penalties for offences like over-speeding, drunken driving, talking over phone while driving, jumping red lights and imprisonment for under-age driving are welcome as these recommendations will help in ironing out the contentious issues and to find solutions to the various problems plaguing the road transport sector in the country so as to improve road safety and facilitate ease of transport” added Mr Kapila.
“IRF as global body working for safer roads has already suggested to Parliamentary panel setting up of National Road Safety Authority for improving road safety measures in the country. Verification and unification of Driving License system as well as vehicle registration system linked with SAARTHI and VAHAAN national Software, use of automation, mandatory driver training, rationalization of categories and periodicity for license renewal. Grant of fitness for transport vehicles including reviewing periodicity of vehicle fitness in view of better technology, introduction of automation in vehicle fitness, third party fitness testing by dealers or other authorized service stations”, said Mr. Kapila.
“IRF also recommends increasing compensation to the accident victims by five times, inclusion of accidental insurance cover for commercial drivers in third party insurance scheme and heavy fines for various traffic violations” said Mr Kapila.