Ordinance on Road Safety

The Road Safety Network has written to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari to bring Ordinance on Road Safety. India witnesses 400 deaths every day because of road accidents every day.  Every year nearly 1.5 lakh people are killed in road crashes and another 5 lakh are severely injured, many of them disabled for life.

India is a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration, where the country made a commitment to reduce road crash deaths by 50% by 2020. The deadline is fast approaching, and India is nowhere close to meeting the target. In order to save lives, India must pass strong laws. However, that seems potentially weak now.

With the conclusion of the Budget session of the Parliament and the impending dissolution of the Lok Sabha ahead of General Elections, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2017 which proposes strong amendments will lapse. An Ordinance specifically on the critical road safety aspects of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill before the Model Code of Conduct sets in can potentially reduce the high death toll due to road crashes.

However, after the failure to get the Bill passed and the country looking at imminent lapse of the Bill, the network urged the Government to take the extraordinary measure of issuing an ordinance to save lives.

“The government had committed to bringing a strong road safety law since 2014 and many statements of the Minister indicated his commitment to reduce road casualties. Since his efforts in Parliament to pass the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill have failed to garner support, we urge the Minister to bring Ordinance in the interim period on this important issue so that lives can be saved on roads”, said Ashim Sanyal, COO of Consumer Voice. He also stressed that the  Ordinance will not only serve as a bridge till the next Government is voted in but also help in putting in place an enabling framework to help save lives.

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