NEW DELHI: More than one out of every 10 deaths in road accidents across the world is reported from India and among all nations it has the highest share of road fatalities. According to estimates, more than 10 lakh people would have died globally by now this year and over a lakh in India.
But road safety is not yet in government’s focus and it struggles to pass the Motor Vehicle Amendments Bill even three years after it had announced to bring the updated law to improve road safety. The Bill was mooted soon after former Union Minister Gopinath Munde died in a road crash in Delhi.
On Sunday, National Coalition of NGOs and road safety activists appealed to the law makers to pass the Bill in the next session of Parliament. Sunday was observed as the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims across the globe.
“Road traffic injuries are the number 1 killer of young people. I am not talking about a mysterious bug that we do not know how to deal with. It’s a perfectly solvable problem that we chose to ignore!” tweeted Dr Etiene Krug, director of Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention at World Health Organisation.
According to the latest road accident report of 2016, over 4.8 lakh accidents took place on Indian roads, which claimed more than 1.5 lakh lives and left about 4.95 lakh people injured.
Globally approximately 1.3 million traffic deaths happen worldwide and that 93% of these occur in low and middle-income countries including India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This is despite the fact that these countries only have 54% of the world’s registered vehicles.
WHO report says only 47 countries, representing 13% of the world population, have laws that meet best practice on urban speed, which is a critical risk factor to address road death and serious injury.