A coalition of road safety organisations has urged the government to get the proposed motor vehicles amendment bill passed in the upcoming session of Parliament, saying its provision will go a long way in checking accidents which claim nearly 1.5 lakh lives on roads in the country every year. Road Safety Network, a voluntary organisation working for ensuring safe road and travel, said in a statement that road safety experts have called the passage of the bill, which seeks to make key amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, as being critical to improve the dismal road safety record in the country. "Despite being monitored closely by the Supreme Court, road fatalities have decreased only by 3 per cent in 2017, far from the target of 50 per cent reduction by 2020, set by the government in accordance with the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety," it said. Even with this slight reduction, there are still 1.46 lakh people dying on India's roads every year, each one of which is an unspeakable human disaster and each of which is preventable, it said. The Road Safety Network said that the Rajya Sabha should pass the proposed motor vehicles amendment bill, which will make a significant impact in "reducing the carnage on our roads". Rajya Sabha MP Satyanarayan Jatiya and former MP OscarFernandes said each and every life is important and to have a safer future, passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha is crucial, the statement said. Ashim Sanyal of the Consumer VOICE said every crash leaves an indelible scar on the family and the community, but that daily crashes are making society numb and reducing these was crucial, it said. Ranjit Gadgil of the Pune-based Parisar reminded that the death of former Union minister Gopinath Munde showed that road accidents can kill anyone, the statement said. The bill aims at radical reforms in the transport sector by ensuring 100 per cent e-governance, checking bogus driving licences and vehicle thefts and slapping heavy penalty on traffic violators.
It seeks to save lives through the measures including protecting good samaritans and making vehicle-makers responsible for design defects to cut road accidents. It was passed by the Lok Sabha in April last year but later sent to the Rajya Sabha Select Committee.
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First Published: Mar 01 2018 | 4:02 PM IST