The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the annual report on road accidents in India.

Key Findings

  • More than 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road crashes in the country in 2018, registering an increase of 2.4% as compared to the year before.
  • India witnessed 53 crashes and loss of 17 lives every hour.
  • Road traffic injuries constitute the eighth leading cause of deaths in India in 2018.
  • The annual report also reveals that of the total people killed in road crash deaths in 2018, 48% were between 18 years and 35 years old. 
  • Minors involved in road crash deaths were at 6.6% of the total deaths.
  • Not wearing helmets and seat belts are not causes of crashes, but are critical for avoiding grievous injuries and fatalities, according to the report.
  • Among the States, Tamil Nadu (13.7%) topped the country in terms of the total number of road crashes.
  • A lot of States that have opposed the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act or have reduced the fines are amongst the States with the highest road crash fatalities.

Example: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand

Government Initiatives in this regard

The Ministry has been making concerted efforts to address the problem of road safety through a series of measures that include

  • Improving road infrastructure, 
  • Road safety audits,
  • Identification and rectification of black spots on roads 
  • Strengthening the automobile safety standards,
  • Organizing road safety awareness programmes and strengthening enforcement etc. 
  • Guidelines for setting up Driver Training Schools in districts.
  • The Ministry has issued guidelines associating Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for promoting awareness about road safety under a scheme titled “Grant of financial assistance for administering Road Safety Advocacy and awards for the outstanding work done in the field of Road Safety.
  • SukhadYatra App and Toll-Free Emergency Number: The SukhadYatra mobile application provides information on toll gates. The key feature of the app includes a provision for the user to enter road quality-related information or to report any accident or pothole on the highway. 
  • The toll-free number 1033 will enable users to report an emergency condition, or highway-related feedback, across the highway.
  • To help accident victims in getting reasonable and fast compensation from insurance companies, the Ministry revised the relevant rules of the Motor Vehicles Act according to which every accident victim or his next of kin will be entitled to a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in case of death, and up to Rs 5 lakh, proportionate to the extent of injury in case of grievous hurt and disablement. 
  • Accident victims can claim higher compensation through court if they are not satisfied, but with this rule even the poorest of the poor will get a fast and reasonable compensation.
  • CCTV installation at Toll Plazas.
  • Films on Road Safety: Three short films for generating public awareness for the need to comply with the rules of the road, eventually contributing to the cause of road safety, were launched
  • Capacity Building in the area of Road Safety: National Centre for Road Safety has been able to train over 1,400 professionals in road safety and road safety audit by conducting 31 courses pan India.

The latest data highlights the urgent need on the part of the States to implement key road safety provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019.