It will not be wrong to say that India has the most killer roads in the world. That’s because even with less than 2% of the total number of motor vehicles globally, India accounts for over 10% of the world’s road accident deaths. Last year, close to 1.5 lakh people lost their lives on Indian roads in accidents. Those deaths, and the even higher number of injured, also impact the economic productivity and expenditure of the nation. A study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) estimated that India loses 3% of its GDP every year due to road traffic injuries.
Countries that have done well in reducing road traffic deaths have always had strong legislation. The Motor Vehicles (MV) Act of 1988 governs road safety in India currently. Most of the provisions of the Act revolve around the movement of goods and passengers. Considerations of road safety were missed. When the MV Act came into force, India was losing around 36,000 lives annually due to road accidents. Today, with the huge growth in the number of cars, two-wheelers, buses and commercial vehicles, that number is more than four times what it was in 1988. This clearly shows that the MV Act 1988 could do little to improve safety on Indian roads.Deccan Herald