Poll shows overwhelming public support for new Road Safety Bill in India

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PRESS RELEASE: New Delhi, December 3rd, 2014

  • 81% respondents strongly favor the passage of the Bill
  • 90% believe passing the Bill will be a major accomplishment for Parliament

In a poll jointly conducted by SaveLIFE Foundation and Global Road Safety Partnership, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the general public has expressed strong support for the new Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014. The report titled, “Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014: Public Satisfaction Survey” was released earlier today by Former Union Home Secretary Mr. G.K. Pillai in the presence of several families affected by road accidents. The Poll conducted by international research agency Kadence Research covered 12 cities with a total of 38% respondents belonging to rural touch-points. 81% of all respondents “strongly favour” passing of the proposed road safety Bill and 90% believe that passing the Bill will be an important accomplishment for Indian Parliament.

Key highlights

  • Protection for children during commute: 97% of respondents said they would favor protection for children during commute in the new law.
  • Reforming Regional Transport Offices: 96% of respondents say they favor reforming RTOs to make it easier, more efficient and corruption-free to obtain a driver’s license.
  • Increasing penalties: 91% of respondents believe that increased penalties for road safety violations will improve road safety.

In the past decade, more than 1,200,000 people have been killed in road crashes in India. Survey findings also revealed that 3 out of 5 respondents feel unsafe while traveling on Indian roads as drivers, pedestrians or passengers.

In addition to showing overall support for the Bill, 98% of the respondents also favor several specific provisions in the Bill. These include making it mandatory for all drivers to be trained before getting a license, protection for children during commute, increased electronic enforcement and heavy penalties for not complying with traffic laws, and making it mandatory for all two wheeler riders to wear helmets.

Mr. G.K. Pillai, Trustee of SaveLIFE Foundation stated that, “India’s sole road safety law, the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has not been able to keep pace with rapid motorization and consequent increase in road fatalities. It is time that India gets a road safety law which is comprehensive, inclusive and provides a structured approach to Road Safety”

Dr. Kelly Henning, Director of Public Health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies noted that “India’s Road Safety Bill includes many important measures that are proven to reduce traffic deaths and injuries – critical for India, where the number of cars on the road is growing quickly. The new law would make roads safer for everyone and prevent many tragedies, and that’s why it has received such strong public support across India.”.

The survey conducted across twelve Indian cities included Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Varanasi, Nagpur, Rohtak, Chengalpattu, Burdwan, Palghar and Mandya.

The meeting was also attended by families of various victims including Mrs. Jyoti Gupta who had started an online petition to Prime Minister Modi to introduce a strong Road Safety law. Immediately after the launch, Jyoti along with other families met the Prime Minister’s Office and delivered the petition signed by over 200,000 people.

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