New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari was on Saturday urged to introduce the road safety bill in the monsoon session of parliament beginning on Sunday.
Noted NGO Consumer Voice, which has been demanding stringent laws to bring down road accidents, in a petition submitted to the ministry, said harsher punishment be given to the violators to curb road accidents.
According to Indian Road Accidents 2015 report, road crashes increased by 2.5 per cent in the last couple of years, while deaths due to the road accidents have increased by 4.6 per cent.
Rajasthan (19,000 cases), Uttar Pradesh (17,000) and Tamil Nadu (15,000 cases) were among the states with highest road fatalities.
The former Planning Commission estimated a loss of over three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product each year to road accidents, which amounts to Rs 4 lakh crore.
“Governments across the globe are working towards strong legislation to curb road fatalities, but India still is not able to introduce a road safety bill,” Ashim Sanyal, CEO, Consumer Voice, said.
“Safer roads and mobility is one of the five pillars of the UN Global Plan for the decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The importance of saving lives on the roads has also been recognised as a Sustainable Development Goal. This states that the road casualties must be reduced by 50 per cent by 2020,” Sanyal said.