Road Safety Network submitted recommendations to mitigate road crashes and deaths during lockdown

Road Safety Network submitted recommendations to mitigate road crashes and deaths during lockdown

So far, during the lockdown a total of 1,137 crashes are recoded nationwide and 274 road crash deaths are reported. Consumer VOICE along with its partners have been maintaining a ‘Road Crash Tracker’ to document road crash deaths and traffic violations during the lockdown since March 25 until now. Road crashes killed 1,51,417 people in 2018.If on one hand the graph of COVID-19 cases is rising in India, on the other hand the number of road accidents especially of migrant labourers who are trying to return home during the ongoing lockdown is also steadily increasing.  As per reports, India recorded about 600 road crashes in the first two phases of the lockdown. The scenes of migrant labourers trying to reach home by adopting desperate measures is too hard to even watch on TV channels or read in newspapers. The “pathetic condition of migrant labourers…is nothing but a human tragedy”, as has been rightly put by the Madras High Court where lakhs of migrant labourers have resorted to desperate measures and are forced to return home after having rendered jobless and homeless.

While the central and respective state governments are trying their best to help migrants return home safely, there are several risk factors which need immediate attention. Risk factors like speeding, driving while fatigued, not wearing helmets continue to be responsible for the fatalities across the states. Speeding on empty roads has been one of the most common reasons for road crash deaths across States. Pedestrians in both urban areas, as well as State and National Highways, remain at tremendous risk from speeding vehicles. There is an urgent need to effectively enforce speed limits. Media reports indicate that driver fatigue combined with speeding has been responsible for the recent crashes.

In order to combat this, Road Safety Network, a National Coalition of organizations promoting safe roads in India has submitted a list of 15 recommendations to the Home Ministry to ensure the safety of migrants traveling on road. The recommendations are aimed at mitigating specific risk factors like speeding, driving while fatigued, overcrowding etc. Some of the recommendations are specifically towards the safety of migrant workers returning home” said, Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE organisation part of Road Safety Network.

These deaths were probably not even part of the framework as it was not anticipated. But it is now time to act!

(Facts sourced from various national dailies)

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

31st National Road Safety Week – Bringing Change Through Youth Power

Road Safety Week is organized every year to increase awareness among the citizens of India. In India every year more than 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents and more than 5 lakh are severely injured. This year the 31st National Road Safety Week was observed across India from 11th Jan – 17th Jan 2020 with Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Defence Minister of India inaugurating the ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 13th January. The theme for this year was ‘Bringing change through youth power’. The 5 major risk factors of road safety that were addressed during the week were – Over speeding, helmet, seatbelt, drunk-driving and usage of mobile phones while driving.Consumer VOICE, which has been a pioneer of road safety, observed Road Safety Week along with state partners for Safer Roads in India and highlighted the importance of New Motor Vehicles Act 2019. As per the Ministry’s latest statement in Lok Sabha the number of deaths caused due to road accidents in India reduced by at least 9% in first two months after the amended MV Act came into effect on September 2019. The amendment Act will help to reduce the road fatalities and injuries with the stringent penalties / other provisions and enforce safe driving on Indian roads.

Lucknow, UP

In Lucknow, Consumer VOICE organized an expert session-cum-sensitization workshop activity with participation from consumer organizations, road safety experts, road accident victims, among others. Consumer Coordination Council (an apex body of Consumer Organizations across India) supported the National Road Safety Week . In this event heads of consumer organizations from around 23 states / UTs participated. The event was to echo the voices of road safety and implementation of MVA 2019 across the country.

Addressing the event Ms. Rinki Sharma-Head Projects, Consumer VOICE said, “The amendment Act will help to reduce the road fatalities and injuries and change the road habits of citizens who are breaking the rules”. Besides representatives of consumer organizations, lawyers, road safety experts including road traffic victims were also present in the workshop.

Team members of Consumer VOICE, Delhi Shri Hemanth Upadhyay and Ms.Rinki Sharma along with Shri Abhishek Srivastava – Chairman of Consumer’s Guild, Lucknow submitted a memorandum on road safety to Transport Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Dheeraj Prasad Sahu and Shri Ganga Phal, Additional Transport Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh. The main objective of submitting the memorandum is to strengthen road safety  and implementation of Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019 in the state of Uttar Pradesh and requested the state government to notify the amended rules and implement it on priority without any dilution of the provisions.

Guwahati, Assam

The Assam state government organised a road safety awareness program on 11th Jan 2020 to sensitize all stakeholders on safer road mobility. Activists from Consumer Legal Protection Forum (CLPF), Assam state partner for Consumer VOICE, actively participated in the workshop to learn and further share their experiences. Consumer Legal Protection Forum appreciated the efforts of the Assam government for the implementation of New Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.

Consumer VOICE along with its state partners also shared a press note appreciating the government for their efforts towards implementation of Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

Media Coverage on Road Safety Week

World Day of Remembrance 2019

World Day of Remembrance 2019

World Day of Remembrance 2019

“Life is not a Car Part”

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is commemorated on the third Sunday of November every year – to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected. This year’s slogan of World Day of Remembrance is ‘Life is not a Car Part’.Consumer VOICE considers Road Safety as an important safety issue for consumers. Considering this need we are educating consumers and spreading awareness on various road safety aspects through educational and outreach activities. The entire world experiences a number of road accidents and serious injuries. This annual global event represents a significant opportunity to call attention to the pathetic road safety situation in India.

 

This year Consumer VOICE along with its state partners organised various event on the occasion of WDR :

Media supported the events and provide wide coverage in the states.

Lucknow Uttar Pradesh:

Consumer Guild, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi, organized “Shraddhanjali Sabha” to pay tribute to road traffic victims on the occasion of World Day of Remembrance on 17th Nov 2019. A peaceful walk started from Kakori By Pass to the entry point of Lucknow – Agra Express Highway, Lucknow Uttar Pradesh and demanded safer roads for all. They also demanded the State Government to strongly implement the new rules of MVA 2019.

More than 50 people participated in the peace walk, including representatives from NGOs, lawyers, students, doctors, Nursing Association, bankers, corporate sector representative, Ex-Army Welfare Federation. Many Victims /Family members joined the event. This year’s slogan of World Day of Remembrance –“Life is not car part” was prominently displayed on banners and placards. Early notification of MVAA was demanded by the participants. The walkathon was ended by two minutes silence (mourn) in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Ambala, Haryana:

Citizens Awareness Group, with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi organized an event to strengthen road safety and tribute meeting for road safety victims on November 16th November 2019 at Amarapali hotel Ambala-Haryana. Shri Satyanarayan SHO Traffic, Shri Bhushan, Senior Road Safety Inspector, Shri Rashit Bajaj, Senior Road Safety Associate participated and addressed the gathering. They discussed about the positive aspects of theMVAA. Shri Surinder Verma-Chairman Citizens Awareness Group and Smt.Reena Singla Secretary were present along with people from NGOs, representative of CSOs working on road safety, and lawyer’s etc.It was covered well by Media. The tribute meeting was ended by two minutes silence in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Guwahati, Assam:

Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam, with support from Consumer VOICE, Delhi organized a peaceful walk from Guwahati Medical College Road, Bhangagarh on Sunday 17 November in association with Chakshu, Guwahati to gave tribute on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and demanded safer roads for all. Dr. Karavi Barman, Principal-In-Charge, NEF Law College inaugurated the peace walk, students, residents ,representatives from NGOs /CSOs working on road safety and lawyers participated in the walk. It was a very successful event and media covered it well through print and online coverage. Strict Implementation of MVAA was demanded by the participants. The walkathon ended with a two-minute silence in the memory of road accident victims.

Delhi:

Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti, Delhi with support from Consumer VOICE organized a peace walk at Mayur vihar in Delhi with participation from Local residents mainly parents of school going children. Citizen demanded for strict implementation of MVAA .A talk was also organized in which Shri S C Sharma of Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti and Shri Hemant Upadhyay Consumer VOICE addressed the parents and children about road safety and main provisions of MVAA. The peace walk was ended by two minutes silence in the memory of road accident victims and candles were lighted in the remembrance of Road Traffic Victims.

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh:

A Stakeholders Consultation on Strengthening Road Safety in the State of Madhya Pradesh organized by National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment (NCHSE), Bhopal with support from Consumer VOICE (New Delhi) on 19th Nov 2019. The objective of the event was to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and to create awareness about the road safety to minimize road accidents. Shri Naresh Annotia, DSP,Traffic stressed that youth need to be disciplined and follow traffic rules for not only to reduce the chances of road accidents, but to help smooth flow of traffic and reduce vehicular pollution in cities. Shri Himanshu Tiwari, Subedar (Traffic) spoke at length about the magnitude of road accidents, their causes and the lives it takes every year in India and in Madhya Pradesh. He explained various precautionary measures and traffic signage which every motor vehicle driver should know and follow to remain safe.

During discussion it was highlighted that despite Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 became effective from 1st September 2019 and several states have implemented it, Government of Madhya Pradesh is yet to take a decision to implement it. It was also highlighted that the new provisions of MVAA have been made with the view to discourage offences and that the increase in penalties are not only a means of deterrent but also not high in real term if one consider the price escalation during the 30 years.

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State Level Consultation for Sensitization of Stakeholders to Mandate the Strict Implementation of Vendor Licensing in Goa

State Level Consultation for Sensitization of Stakeholders to Mandate the Strict Implementation of Vendor Licensing in Goa

State Level Consultation for Sensitization of Stakeholders to Mandate the Strict Implementation of Vendor Licensing in Goa

Consumer VOICE in collaboration with National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) Goa organised a stakeholders’ consultation at Conference Hall, Manipal Hospitals, Goa on November 1, 2019. The main objective of the event was to discuss the implementation of the Government of Goa’s policy on mandating licensing for vendors selling tobacco.In the welcome address, the President of NOTE Dr.Shekhar Salkar, gave an overview of the tobacco control measures implemented in the state of Goa. He thanked the Goa Government for issuing the order on vendor licensing. He also called ULBs (Urban Local Bodies) to implement it in letter and spirit for saving lives of future generations.

Further, Shri Amarjeet Singh, Advisor Legal, Consumer VOICE, gave a presentation on tobacco vendor licensing and told “Our recent study pointed that the density of tobacco vendors is too high even in residential areas as we found 198 tobacco point of sale in 2 areas of Goa. We observed several violation of COTPA at PoS (Point of Sale).” The Vendor licensing order issued by Department of Urban Development can be very effective in tobacco control.

Shri Uday Madkaikar Mayor-City Corporation Panaji said, we will take all necessary action for the effective implementation of Vendor Licensing. Shri Sanjit Rodrigues-Commissioner of Corporation of the City of Panaji, stated “I will personally initiate a meeting with all stake holders to ensure that vendor licensing is being strictly adhered to in strategic areas like schools etc.” Dr. Jose De Sa-Directorate of Health Services [DHS] Govt of Goa, another chief guest of the event said that the public health department is working out a strategy to control and prevent tobacco-related deaths by adopting service, educational and regulation approach.

The other key speakers of the event were Shri Pramod Acharya , Anchor-Prudent TV Shri Sanyof Kudlakar, Senior Food Safety Officer FDA.

The programme  was also attended by more than 50 health experts, doctors from Directorate of Health Services[ DHS] Govt of Goa,  Food and Drugs Inspectors from Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration, Police Inspectors and Sub Inspectors from Goa Police department, tobacco control activists, print and electronic media, civil society activists etc.

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Green Action Week Workshop in Vivek Vihar and Ghaziabad

Green Action Week Workshop in Vivek Vihar and Ghaziabad

Green Action Week Workshop in Vivek Vihar and Ghaziabad

As part of Green Action Week, on the theme of sharing community, Consumer VOICE organised an event on 31st October 2019 with the residents of Vivek Vihar and Ghaziabad (NCR). The residents joined hands by planting air purifying plants and trees to contribute towards clean air for all campaign activities.

Vivek Vihar and Ghaziabad are some of the worst polluted areas in Delhi/NCR. The residents of the region reel under severe pollution and therefore the residents decided to take the fight in their hands through ‘Community Sharing’.

Women participants shared their experiences on green practices and working together in the community. They enthusiastically participated in the planting activities and decided to involve their kids in environmental friendly activities.

Ms.Rinki Sharma,Head Projects Consumer Voice addressed the gathering along with Shri Virender Rawat from the society association.


Participants were sensitized on the problem of air pollution and how joint efforts can contribute towards the solution. There were discussions on green practices such as using compost pit ,discarding single use plastic from everyday life, pooling for vehicles and adopting a healthy way of life etc. Participants appreciated the efforts of Consumer VOICE where they can work together and learn from each other.