Business Standard

Failed road transport policies causing deaths in India: Experts

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The failure of India's various road transport policies, lack of amendments in the motor vehicle act and negligence by various stakeholders in society are the reasons why India has the highest number of road deaths in the world, experts said here Monday.

The experts said roads in Indian cities are designed to increase speed of motor vehicles and neglect the safety or the rights of walkers, cyclists and public transport users.

During a discussion "Our Safe Right of Way" organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), they said that though there were key provisions in existing laws that have a bearing on pedestrian safety, they were not harmonised for effective implementation.

"The lack of road audits before throwing them open for the general public and building them without a proper safety plan are leading to the high number of road deaths in the country," said CSE director general Sunita Narain.

She said the ranking of Indian roads were poor in comparison to other countries in all parameters.

According to a survey done by the CSE in India, Delhi alone records 5-10 deaths per day caused by road accidents.

The CSE recognised six most accident prone roads in the national capital - Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Mathura Road, Ring Road, Outer Ring Road, Vikas Marg and the Noida Link Road - because of poor road construction planning.

Geetema Tiwari, professor and coordinator at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, said: "Most of the intersections in India's roads are designed with raised table-top crossings, none have pelican signals for convenient crossings."

She said the lack of amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 failed the policies of the government for road safety.

"The government needs to urgently bring changes in the Motor Vehicles Act so that the new provisions can be incorporated that helps in reducing road fatalities," she said.

First Published: Mon, June 23 2014. 20:40 IST