In the past decade, over 1 million people have been killed in road crashes in India, with 16 deaths recorded every hour in 2014 alone. In 2016, more than 2,31,000 people lost their lives in road accidents and a higher number of people were wounded. For the ones driving or riding lighter vehicles like small cars, autos, two-wheelers and cycles, the danger is more.
But road accidents not only happen due to rash driving by vehicles, but exercising poor safety rules by pedestrians adds to the woes. Jaywalking is a major cause of road accidents. Instead of waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, people lose patience and run to reach to the other side of the road. This is extremely dangerous if a speeding car suddenly comes and you might not notice it.
Keeping road safety in mind, the government has come up with several regulations. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Parliament last year. The amendments are stringent on several fronts to ensure safety for the citizens, including heavy fines for traffic violators. The law also set a fine on car owners who let minors drive. Further, in the case of an accident caused by the juvenile, his/her family will be fined up to Rs 25,000, with or without imprisonment of up to three years.
In the past as well the government had brought in laws to prevent road accidents and promote road safety. The Central Motor Vehicle Rules was passed in 1989 and included clauses on the use of seat belts. Apart from this, a national road safety policy was outlined by the government, while bringing in other reforms.
However, is this enough?
Last year, 1,46,377 people died in road accidents – this was 3% lower than in 2016, but still a high number.
The statistics clearly show that we need more than just laws to ensure road safety. We need people to realise the repercussions of not adhering to safety regulations.
Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd with their #RoadSafety campaign aims to create awareness among citizens about road safety. They have designed an innovative campaign that will target colleges in major cities of India – New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. In a month long initiative, Jubilant FoodWorks will conduct workshops where participants will be trained to handle minor casualties. The key objective of the campaign is to sensitise, build awareness and train the target group of youth – motor vehicle drivers and street pedestrians – towards road safety.
It is commendable that Jubilant FoodWorks is taking up the cause of road safety from a different perspective. While most talk about accidents revolve around law, this initiative is trying to reach the root of the problem.