Jaipur, February 4, 2021
On the heels of several high-profile road crashes, the Road Safety Network called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end preventable death and injury on the road. In a letter to the Prime Minister sent this week which falls during the Road Safety Month, civil society organizations across the country drew attention to the astronomical cost and human tragedy of road crash injuries and deaths.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International, Jaipur said “Deaths and injuries due to road crashes must be called out for what they are, an epidemic, if we are to see the numbers. Even globally, India recorded the highest number of road crash deaths in 2019. This needs to change.”
Experts believe that effectively implementing the provisions from the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act passed in 2019 at the state level could save more than 1.5 lakh lives lost and 6 lakh injuries sustained each year. Yet, many key states — including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu — have yet to notify and many other states need to take up the stringent road safety measures from the Act. The Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has publicly committed to halving traffic deaths by 2025 a target unlikely to be achieved unless state policymakers support the cause. Just this month, Union Minister Shri Naik tragically lost his wife and a close aide in a crash. In the backdrop of this ongoing loss of lives and injuries, the letter urges the Prime Minister to lend the much needed leadership in reducing road crashes, suggesting adopting a mission mode for the issue.
Ranjit Gadgil, Programme Director Parisar, Pune said “We have seen the difference the personal leadership of Prime Minister Modi makes in ensuring the Government machinery works from top to bottom, be it the Swachh Bharat Mission or the COVID pandemic. We need the same to address the national calamity on our roads”.
“The passage of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 was a landmark moment towards achieving safer roads; yet its lacklustre implementation and enforcement is a cause of dismay,” the letter states. Please refer to the letter attached with this mail.
The Road Safety Network is a coalition of national leaders working together to advocate for an evidence-based approach to saving lives on Indian roads. The Network is committed to advancing policies that strengthen road safety.
For more information, please contact
Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Program Officer, CUTS International. firstname.lastname@example.org ; 9057520313