NEW DELHI, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As part of WHO’s Legal Development Programme, ThinkNiti Research Centre conducted a workshop with discussions centred around the recently approved Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (received assent of the President and notified on August 9th, 2019) aimed at making mobility in India safer. The 2-days workshop was held at the India International Centre, New Delhi on 16th & 17th August 2019 and was attended by road safety experts, legal professionals and academicians.
Justice Rajive Bhalla (Former Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh) stressed on how there aren’t enough road safety experts in the country. He said that there is a general tendency among the stakeholders to pass on the responsibility. He further focused on the importance of identifying causes of road crashes and using legislative reforms to combat them.
Senior Advocate Arun Mohan spoke about making quality laws and backing them with sound marketing strategies. He mentioned that the law of deterrence will not work and prevention should be the focus of legislations. Mr. Mohan said that road safety is a matter of public interest and therefore, opinions and views of every stakeholder has to be taken into account.
Representing the National Road Safety Council, Dr. Kamal Soi said that road crashes are largely preventable and predictable. Dr. Soi discussed how the new Act by bringing in heavier penalties, cashless treatment for crash victims and improved compensation model will be a game changer.
Dr. Dinesh Mohan stressed that any efforts towards ensuring road safety should focus on not just punishing violators but educating and informing the masses. Dr. Mohan also spoke about the need to focus on ground realities when making laws and addressing issues related to road safety scientifically.
Mr Ganga Phal, Additional Transport Commissioner for Road Safety, U.P, highlighted the importance of scientific checking of traffic violations, proper manpower planning and creation of a lead agency to monitor traffic violations.
Mr Harman Sidhu from ArriveSafe discussed the laws on drunken driving in our country. Mr Sidhu spoke about the cascading effects of alcohol on driving. He pointed out how awareness and enforcement on the same are nearly negligible. He emphasised on the need to shut down liquor shops on highways, strict enforcement of laws and rules and to have a reason based awareness campaign.
Advocate Rituj Chopra discussed the role played by Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety. Mr Chopra mentioned that the main task of the Committee is to monitor and evaluate all the road safety policies adopted by Central and State governments.
Recently, Dr. S.S.Chauhan (ADGP, Traffic) signed an MoU with ThinkNiti to collaborate on road safety. As part of the collaboration, ThinkNiti will work with Punjab Police on improving road safety laws, policies and practices in Punjab. ThinkNiti will also assist in training officers of the Punjab Police on road safety practices.
ThinkNiti is an independent, non-profit non-governmental organization that aims to redefine the way in which laws and policies are drafted in India.
Director, ThinkNiti Research Centre
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