Motor Vehicle Act implemented successfully, but road safety remains a concern
It is less than a fortnight since the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act has been implemented in most states of the country. While the number of challans has gone down, the revenue generated has gone up tremendously. But the big question is how the commuters are benefitting. Potholed roads are a common sight across rural and urban India.
Road safety is definitely a serious issue. India agreed to Brasilia declaration and committed to reducing road accidents and fatalities by half. But as per the government data, almost 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents in 2017, which means every hour 17 people died in the road accident. The 2017 statistics state that the road accidents in India reduced by merely 3.27% with 4,64,910 road crashes as against 4,80,652 in 2016.
Somehow, the Indian public has been brainwashed in believing potholes are a natural phenomenon during rains. Presently, the annual expenditure on the Indian road sector is around Rs 20,000-30,000 crore. Overloading and poor maintenance have been identified as the two major reasons behind this huge expenditure and maintenance of roads.
In 2017, the budget for road safety increased by a whopping 100.4 percent to Rs 5,217 crore. With this much money pouring into roadworks and safety, shouldn’t we see an increase in road quality?