ROAD SAFETY NETWORK URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE AN ORDINANCE ON ROAD SAFETY
National coalition of road safety organizations demands extraordinary measure ahead of dissolution of Lok Sabha and the impending lapse of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, the road safety legislation pending in Parliament since 2017.
14th February. New Delhi
A day after the last session of the current Lok Sabha, the Road Safety Network has written to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari to bring Ordinance on Road Safety.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2017 that sought to carry out the much-required overhaul of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 had received the assent of the Lok Sabha on 10th April 2017 and was introduced for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha in the Winter Session of 2017. 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.
Ashim Sanyal of Consumer Voice said, “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 has 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”.
India has the dubious distinction of being world number one in road crash deaths. 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. The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2017 was aimed to tackle this pandemic by strengthening Road Safety policy framework in the country through introduction of various provisions related to road safety such as stricter penalties for egregious violations and the ability to hold road contractors liable for defective designs and poor maintenance of roads.
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.