New MVA reduces road deaths by 10%

In the five months since the implementation of the amended Motor Vehicles Act, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in the number of deaths caused due to accidents in the country, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha on Monday. He also informed the House the Government is committed to reduce the accident rate by 50 per cent in the next five years as India is a signatory to this affect at the World Safety Conference held recently in Sweden. Giving this information while fielding questions pertaining to his Ministry, Gadkari said a total of 5 lakh accidents take place in the country and around 1.5 lakh people lose their lives in these accidents.

Of these, 65 per cent people die in the age group of 18 to 35 years, he said. He said Tamil Nadu has made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths in road accidents in the country by 24 per cent in the last five months, the maximum anywhere in the country. “There has been a 10 per cent reduction in the number of deaths due to accidents in the country in the last five months ever since the passage of the new Motor Vehicles Act by Parliament,” Gadkari said adding “We have been able to save 10,000 lives.”

Giving statistics state wise, he said Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh have shown 15 per cent reduction in the number of deaths due to accidents, Gujarat

14 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 13 per cent, Andhra Pradesh 7 per cent and Manipur reduced 4 per cent.  However, Kerala has seen a rise of 4.9 per cent while Assam recorded 8 per cent rise, he told the House. The minister also informed that among various steps being taken to reduce accidents, the government proposes to open 1,000 driving schools in the country, of which 22 have already been opened.  He said most accidents happened due to poor road engineering and the government has identified 3,000 black spots to help reduce accidents in the country. He said a Rs 14,000 crore plan has been put in place whereby the World Bank and Asian Development Bank will invest Rs 7,000 crore and the same amount will be spent by India towards education, enforcement and improving road engineering to help reduce accidents.

Gadkaris also informed that the Motor Vehicles Act is in the Concurrent list and states are empowered to compound the offences and implement the provisions of the Act as per their requirements.     He said both his and a chief minister’s vehicle have been challaned for traffic violations and no one is spared whatever the position one may occupy.

The Minister informed that 73 per cent transactions are being handled currently by FASTag, electronic toll collection, and the plan is to have 98 per cent transactions

through FASTag within the next one month to ensure seamless traffic.

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