Satyamev Jayate - Jinhe Desh Ki Fikr Hai



Do we need a new law on road safety to protect all categories of road users including pedestrians?

  • If we want our loved ones to reach home safely, we have to end the jungle raj on our roads and replace it with the rule of law. But for this to happen we need a comprehensive and modern national road safety law. It is a scandal that India does not have such a law to this day despite being the accidents capital of the world.
  • We need a national road safety law to ensure minimum standards of design, construction and maintenance of roads and highways which keeps safety in mind.
  • This law should ensure the strictest standards for drivers’ training and licensing. We should have a unified system of licensing so that a person anywhere in India can obtain only one license and that too after passing a stringent, mandatory test.
  • We need a law that ensures the strictest enforcement of traffic rules with all the help that technology can provide. Traffic violations like speeding, cutting red lights, drunken driving, etc., should not only be punished but repeated offences should lead to cancellation of license. This law should also create a national authority that is charged with the mandate of looking after every aspect of road safety.
  • Right now the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has put out a draft bill, the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014, for public views before it is tabled in Parliament. This law is a step in the right direction. Among other things, it establishes a Vehicle and Road Safety Authority at the central and state levels, creates a unified drivers licensing and vehicle registration system, and establishes a National Unified Information System for driving licenses, vehicle registration and road accidents offences. It also enhances the penalties for traffic violations. This bill has to be debated and passed as soon as possible by Parliament.
  • Our leaders respond very well to citizens’ pressure and such a law will be passed and enforced only if road safety becomes a citizens’ issue. It is important to understand that road safety is above party politics, above ideologies, above political differences. It is an issue that affects every Indian - from those in power to common citizens.