Stakeholders’ Consultation on Road Safety in Madhya Pradesh
A stakeholders Consultation on Road Safety, was organised on 28th March 2023 at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh as a part of Road Safety project activities by National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment (NCHSE) with support from Consumer VOICE New Delhi.
The objective of the workshop was to bring important stakeholders on one platform and discuss the crucial aspects of road safety risk factors in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Shri Avinash Srivastava Deputy Director, NCHSE started the workshop with the opening remarks. Dr Pradip Nandi, Director General, NCHSE while introducing the matter of road safety presented facts and figures of road fatalities in India and in Madhya Pradesh. He said that the Central government brought out the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act in 2019 with a target to bring down the fatalities due to road accidents to half by 2025. He further said that NCHSE and Consumer Voice jointly organize such events providing a platform for various stakeholders to express their views on the issues involved and how the government and the public could contribute to make the road safer.
On this occasion, Shri Amarjeet Singh Panghal, Advisor Legal Projects, Consumer Voice discussed in detail about the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 and why this is a game changer for the road users. Presenting the data on road accidents and fatalities as reported in the “Road Accidents in India, 2021 of MoRTH, GOI, he highlighted that speed is the biggest contributor to fatalities in road crashes. In the past decade, the number of people killed due to ‘speed’ in road crashes has been increasing, contributing about 70% of the total deaths in road crashes in 2021, the persons in the age group of 18-45 accounts for 67% of death due to road accidents, and two wheeler riders accounts for 45% of the death and Madhya Pradesh state has the distinction of having 2nd highest number of road accidents and 4th highest fatalities in India. While presenting various provisions of the Act such as, compensation for road accident victims, cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour etc were explained.
Dr. Rahul Tiwari, Assistant Professor of MANIT said that most of the accidents occur due to habit/ behavior of the drivers. Over speeding is in the behavior of a section of people. He stressed upon proper investigation for accidents. Intelligent Traffic Management system which also uses hidden cameras could detect over speeding, behaviors of drivers and other causes of accidents. He also stressed upon the responsibilities of all stakeholders to reduce accidents and save lives.
Shri Pramod Kapse, Nodal Officer, Road safety representing the Transport Commissioner said that all stakeholders have the responsibility collectively to prevent road accidents and save lives. He further said that the government is doing its best to make the lives of road users safer, though there are several hurdles to achieve that. Making attitudinal changes among the road users about compliance of road safety norms is a challenge. He also mentioned the provision of an award of Rs 5,000 under the Good Samaritan Act enacted by the state government to encourage the general public to help the road accident victims receive the medical attention within the golden hour, but most of the people have no knowledge about it.
While expressing citizen’s views Shri Sunil Shukla, Director, Sarjana Academy stressed upon the need to include the traffic regulations in the school curriculum.
Shri Raghuraj Singh expressed his concern as a senior citizen for driving along with the vehicles violating traffic rules, like over speeding, changing lanes without using indicators, etc.
Ms. Rinki Sharma, Lead-projects Consumer Voice made concluding remarks summarizing the event.
About 50 persons, including youth, representatives of school/college students, civil society organisation members, senior citizens, road safety advocates and media persons joined the event.