India reports 11 lakh road accident deaths in a decade
Last month Ministry of Road Transport & Highways proposed changes to India’s Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which in word word can be termed as obsolete.
Recommendations include modernising RTO system, centralised and graduated driver’s licensing regime, strict punishment for drunk-driving , over-speeding and rash-driving, provisions for protection of children, cyclists and pedestrians on the road, scientific approach to crash investigation, holding someone accountable for faulty road design and engineering, and determining a lead agency for road safety. Suggestions are resultant of meetings between experts and senior Central Government decision-makers, 9 State Governments, auto industry, insurance industry, NGOs, leading academic institutions, World Bank and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP).
Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Road Safety expert from World Bank emphasised that a graduated licensing system allows drivers to move from lower risk to higher risk situations gradually with increase in drive experience and maturity.
Piyush Tewari, Founder & CEO of SaveLIFE Foundation spoke about the need for an all-encompassing law as well as enforcement of law. This last decade stands testimony to 11 lakh deaths in road accidents in India, and over 55 lakh who are seriously injured or permanently disabled. As per Planning Commission, India’s GDP loss accounts to 3% on account of road accidents each year.
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