Taking advocacy efforts forward to pass the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017, CED partnered with CUTS, a well-known consumer advocacy group based in Jaipur, Rajasthan and working on Road Safety issues at national level for more than a two decades, in organising a day long ‘Regional Advocacy Meeting’ on Road Safety: Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017 on July 14, 2017 , at Fortune Hotel South Park,Thiruvananthapuram
Given that over 13 lakh people have been killed in road accidents in India during last decade, of which 1.46 lakh people were killed in 2015 alone, this Bill seems to be a crucial step towards achieving the target to reduce road crash fatalities by 50% by 2020, as committed by Government of India at the Brasilia Conference on Road Safety in 2015.
Public transport should be strengthened by the government so that that there are more number of people using the public transport which will reduce the number of private vehicles and the accidents said by Mr. Adv Methew T. Thomas, Minister of water resource and Former Minister of TransportGovt. Of Kerala in a Regional Advocacy Meeting on Road Safety Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017 organized by CUTS International Jaipur and CED Thiruvananthapuram.
Every month around 12000 people are dying on Indian Roads out of which 25% are two wheeler riders, most of them are youngsters. There is dire need to pass the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017 at the earliest as demanded by the Government officials, road safety activists, experts and NGOs of four states in Regional Advocacy Meeting in Thiruvenanthapuram. Engineering of road plays very important role in the increased number of road accidents, Advo. D.K.Murali Member of Legislative Assembly, Vamanapuram stated while addressing the audience as the Guest of Honour.
Shri Jyothilal IAS Principal Secretary, Govt. of Kerala while giving the keynote address shared the key concerns related to proposed Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, 2017 and said that eliminating educational criteria for drivers will prove to be risky. He also raised his concerns related to no fault insurance liabilities; restricting temporary registrations, involving private parties in drivers training and given deadline of automated inspection systems. He demanded for providing more resources to strengthen the electriinic platforms line VAHAN and SARTHIES in Kerala. He also touched upon the key proposed amendment in the upcoming bill.
Mr. Ravi Prasad, Chief Engineer, Road Safety Engineer Cell, Ministry of Road, Highways and Transport, Govt. of India said that today’s scary situation of road safety has not developed overnight but it’s a result of sustained and prolonged negligence of the road safety rules and regulations since decades. He said that there is not dearth of funds for the cause of road safety but there is a need of much more coordinated and concerted efforts from all the key stakeholder state departments. He also mentioned that road accident is result of combination of reasons related to Engineering, enforcement, Education and Emergency care. In most of the accident cases one or the other reason is responsible. He talked about the four pillers of road safety in detail.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International in his opening remarks highlighted that while India has only 2% of motor vehicles population, however it accounts for more than 10% of road accidents of the world which results in on an average more than 400 people dying each day on Indian roads. 20 children per day below 14 years die on the Indian roads due to road accidents. There is 4.6% of increase in death in 2015 from 2014, which is an alarming situation. While referring to the data of MoRTH he said that Kerala stands on 5th position in the country as per the number of accidents.
Dr. P M Muhammed Najeeb, Deputy Transport Commissioner, Transport Department, Govt. of Kerala also shared the overall initiatives taken by the Department to strengthen the enforcement of the motor vehicle rules and regulations in the state by introducing intelligent traffic system, introducing mobile apps and advanced technologies on one hand and changing the road users behavior and developing capacity of the enforcement officials on the other.
NAPAC Sr. Scientist Mr. S Shaheem shared the road safety vision, 2030 and talked about the road safety scenario of Kerala. He talked about road safety audits, functioning of Kerala Road Safety Authority and to catalyze its operations, targets to be achieved till 2030 year wise and challenges in achieving the set targets.
Vibhor Gupta, from Delhi Founder of Mobiquel mobile app talked about the HumSafar app for Road Safety. Whiling taking about the key features of the app he said that it has provision of lining up with the state ambulances, Hospitals, Traffic Police and other lots of other relevant functions which ensures getting the treatment in the golden hour.
In the technical session which aimed to share the technical aspects of the road safety was moderated by Nalin Sinha. He is Consultant of Global Health Action Incubator (GHAI), New Delhi presented an overview of road safety scenario in India. He said that there are three things involved in the road accident The Driver, Road and the Vehicles. Everyday 407 people die in road accidents. Around 43.7% deaths are caused due to over speeding followed by overloading at 31.4%. Gujarat resulted in 8136 deaths in 2016, and it showed reduction of 322 deaths in first quarter of 2017.
In this session, road safety experts coming from various states of India shared their expert views and hands on experiences of road safety. In the session lots of road safety data, initiatives taken by various NGOs and organizations and road safety activists and inter state good practices were shared with the participants.
In the meeting around 100 participants from Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and various districts of Kerala participated. NGOs, media representatives, political representatives and road safety volunteers all among the participants who actively participated and shared their views and experiences.