International Road Federation (IRF) , a Geneva based global body working for Safe and Smart Road Mobility world-wide, has expressed serious concern at the growing number of road deaths in India and its failure to adopt recommended road safety actions to meet the United Nation’s Decade of Action plan for Global Road Safety, which targets to reduce road traffic fatalities by 50% by the year 2020.

“India is a signatory to the UN’s Decadal Action Plan of reducing road traffic fatalities by 50% by 2020. Road safety in India is facing too many hurdles and obstacles, as per the data released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) for the year 2015, the number of road traffic fatalities in the country was over 1.46 lakh. It accounts for 10 Per Cent of the global road traffic fatalities. Despite the best efforts by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the much awaited Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) Amendment bill 2016, which is pending for so many years as it still needs approval of the Parliament. IRF has urged Mr. Mukul Roy, Chairman, Standing Parliamentary Committee to submit amendments in the Central Motor Vehicles Act in the current session of Parliament and get the Act cleared, as Road Safety should be utmost in the mind of all” said Mr. K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF) in a statement.

“ 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.

“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 over speeding and drunken driving” said Mr Kapila.

“At end of 2016, we are in the midst of the ‘’Decade of Action Plan’’ and have a mammoth task of catching up with the target of reducing road fatalities by 50% by 2020. A strong collective political will, which is beyond party politics and differences of opinion, is the need of the hour. IRF earnestly appeals to all political parties of India to stand united for the cause of road safety and pass the amended MV Act (MVA) in the ongoing session of the Parliament.” he further added.

“ IRF calls upon the Hon’ble Members of Parliament to swiftly act by unanimously passing the MVA and enjoining upon the Government to ensure that India meets its commitment of ‘Decade of Action Plan’.” he added.