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Adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on road safety by India

Road crashes kill more than 1.3 million people each year and in India the road traffic mortality rate m (per 100 000 population) is 16.6. A total of 480,652 road accidents took place in India in 2016, which resulted in the loss of 150,785 human lives and left 494,625 injured as per the report Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2017. These statistics gives us reason to worry and therefore not a surprise that road safety is recognised as a humanitarian crisis in the global scenario.
 
It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that road safety measures require immediate attention and despite several steps taken by the government, much needs to be done. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is all set to adopt a new resolution, Improving Global Road Safety, calling for strong and urgent global action to improve global road safety. The commitment by the United Nations to tackle these deaths through the Decade of Action on Road Safety and through the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 3.6: reduce road deaths by 50 percent by 2020 and 11.2: provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all) are an indication of the action required.
 
With the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on road safety, India too needs to pass the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill (2017) which is now pending in Rajya Sabha. The MVA Bill is the need of the hour and keeping this in mind it has urged the government for a speedy passage of the MVA Bill through its petition addressing the Hon'bl Prime Minister Mr. Narender Modi, Hon'ble Vice President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Mr. P.J. Kurien (Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha) and Mr Nitin Gadkari (Minister of Road Transport and Highways). The new MVA bill has strict penal provisions to arrest crashes, deaths and injuries on 5 scientifically identified areas.

 

Sign this petition to save precious lives

Consumer Voice is leading a coalition of road safety and consumer organisations who have been sensitizing both the policy makers and common men on the importance of road safety and the major risk factors that are responsible for road accidents. These include:

  • Helmet

    Maximum deaths in two-wheeler category are because of head injuries and not wearing helmet. In 2016, 52,500 (34.8%) fatalities were among two- wheeler drivers/riders. Not wearing helmet while driving or riding on a motorized two wheeler increases risk of head injury, severity and death while wearing a good- quality helmet can reduce risk of death from a road crash by 40% and severe
    injury by over 70%.

 

  • Speeding

73,896 people ie 49% people have been killed due to overspeeding in 2016. Speeding is one of the main reasons for road accidents especially in urban cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

  • Seat Belt

Seat Belt and Child Restraint System are secondary safety measures but they are crucial ones nonetheless. They reduce risk of hitting interior of car or other passengers. In 2016, non-wearing of seat-belt caused 5638 deaths among
vehicle drivers & passengers in India.

  •  Drink and Driving

impairment due to alcohol consumption leads to poor judgment, increased reaction time, lowered vigilance and decreased ability to see well. 6,131 have been killed while driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2016.

  • Child Restraint

Child restraint systems, such as child seats for infants and booster seats for older children, decrease the risk of death in a crash by about 70% for infants and up to 80% for small children. 96 countries have already implemented a child restraint law. Mandatory child restraint laws and enforcement are effective in increasing the use of child restraints and the Indian government should think about this
seriously.

 

The UN Resolution on Improving Global Road Safety should be a wakeup call for the parliamentarians and India must join the United Nations and act to stop this public health crisis.  The passage of the MVA Bill is key to improve road safety and help India meet its target of reducing by half the burden of road injuries and fatalities by 2020. Sign this petition to help make our Indian roads safe!

Divya Patwal

VOICE

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