Munde death anniv.: Strengthening of road safety rules sought

Munde death anniv.: Strengthening of road safety rules sought

A day before the first death anniversary of former Union Minister Gopinath Munde in a car crash, a group of organisations has demanded strengthening of the proposed road safety bill, several provisions of which, they claimed, have been "watered down".

Aiming to gather public opinion, the group of NGOs has launched a website, www.roadsafetyatrisk.in, which allows users to send a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting his intervention in the matter.

"In the latest version of the Bill available on the Ministry's website, statutes to hold road contractors, automobile manufactures, transporters and rash drivers accountable have been watered down," they said in a statement.

The group comprising several foundations from across the country, including SaveLIFE Foundation, Muskaan Trust, Arundhati Foundation, also questioned the government's position on the timing of introduction of the Bill.

"The government has also changed its position on the timing of the introduction of the Bill. In a statement made in Parliament on February 26, 2015, on the timing of the proposed Bill, the Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, P Radhakrishnan, stated, 'No definite time frame can be given'," it said.

Piyush Tewari of SaveLIFE foundation urged the Prime Minister to ensure that there was no "compromise" in the proposed Bill. "This is the only way to honour the deaths of Gopinath Munde and lakhs of common people who have lost their lives to this preventable epidemic."

Citing National Crime Records Bureau figures, they said that more than 15 lakh people have been killed in road accidents in India since 2001. 

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