Road accident-related deaths have reduced by 9 per cent in the first two months since the new Motor Vehicles Act that imposes stringent fines for violation of traffic rule was implemented in the country.
Deaths in road accidents in India have reduced by at least 9 per cent in the first two months after the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into effect on September 1. Between September 1 and October 31, India witnessed 3,375 road accident-related deaths, as compared to 3,729 in the same period last year.
The data above pertains to nine states and Union Territories.
This information was provided by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Gadkari had to face criticism, when the Motor Vehicles Act was amended this year, for steep hike in penalties for violation of traffic rules under the new law.
His written reply to a question whether the amended Motor Vehicles Act has achieved its target of reducing road accidents read, “As per the information available from certain states and Union territories, road accidents and fatalities have reduced.”
The document presented in the Lok Sabha revealed that road accidents-related deaths in Chandigarh have reduced by 75 per cent in comparison to last year.
In Puducherry, the decline was 31 percent; in Uttarakhand 22 per cent, and in Gujarat, road accidents fell by 14 percent.
Among the nine states/UTs that provided data, Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of fatalities in road accidents (1,355), but it too was less than last year’s figure of 1,503-a fall of 10 per cent.
Chhattisgarh was the odd one out as it saw a 4 per cent rise in such fatalities while all others saw a dip.
The amended Motor Vehicles Act triggered a huge controversy when it was introduced on September 1. Under the amended Act, penalty for traffic violation has been hiked manifold.
In the first week of its implementation, there was an outcry after many people across the country were fined tens of thousands for traffic rule violation.
Such was the outrage against the hiked fines that many state governments, including in many BJP-ruled states, issued separate notifications to reduce penalties for traffic rule violations.
Asked about the objectives of implementing the amended Motor Vehicles Act, Nitin Gadkari said, “The Act is intended to bring reforms in the area of road safety, bring citizen facilitation, transparency, and reduce corruption with the help of information technology and removing intermediaries. The Act will strengthen public transport, safeguard and protect Good Samaritan and bring in reforms in the insurance and compensation regime.”
He also informed the House that the central government has not received any information from any state that they are not implementing the amended Motor vehicles Act. He however said the Act allows state governments to issue notification to specify amount for compounding of certain offences under the Act.
Date: November 23, 2019