Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently announced the government was ready to introduce new laws to lift road safety as traffic fatalities and injuries soar and the country has been deemed the most dangerous in the world by many studies.
Modi showed concern in his monthly nationwide radio address on Sunday, saying a person is killed on Indian roads every four minutes and asked his fellow Indians to drive safer. “Just two days ago, a scooterist in Delhi lay on the road for ten minutes and no one came to help him,” commented Modi. “People keep asking me to speak about road safety. And when one looks at the statistics, the heart is shaken.” He added the government would showcase the Road Transport and Safety Bill in parliament and also make up a related strategy to increase road safety in the country. India’s safety law was first introduced in 1914 and then revised just twice – it lacks mandatory tests for vehicles or the presence of airbags. The road transport ministry has called for increased fines and tougher licensing standards in a draft legislation but progress on the matter has been feeble as Modi’s government has been focused on taxation and land reform laws.
Meanwhile, safety advocates have been continuously asking numerous, successive administrations to update the laws in order to lower the death toll in India, which makes up 15 percent of the worldwide traffic fatalities even as it only has about one percent of the motor vehicles.