“By 2025 we can reduce road crash deaths and injuries by 50%”, says Indian Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

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Consumer Voice, a GRSP grantee based in India and a member of the Road Safety Network, hosted on September 8, 2020, the “National Webinar on Road Safety”. This online event served as a platform for various important National and International stakeholders to come together and reinforce their commitment to saving lives on Indian Roads through tangible action and effective implementation of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019.

The Keynote was delivered by the Honourable Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Sh. Nitin Gadkari, who stressed the need for collaborative action and innovation. He declared, “While the Government is committed to reducing fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2030, we feel this can be achieved by 2025.” Further, he added, “Road Safety is not a political subject. It is a national challenge to reduce road casualty numbers and we all should work together towards saving lives. MVAA is well appreciated by stakeholders at an international level. Nationally we have a federal system and we need cooperation from State Governments to implement the Act and save lives.”

Dr. Kelly Henning of Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and Dr. Judy Fleiter from Global Road Safety Partnership also addressed the gathering.

Dr. Kelly Henning underlined the gravity of road crash death and injury worldwide, especially in relation to youth, and reiterated the commitment of Bloomberg Philanthropies to “continue to support India in its goal of saving lives and providing safer roads.”.

Dr. Fleiter stressed that if we are to achieve the new target set under the recently proclaimed Second Decade of Action for Road Safety (50% reduction in deaths and injuries by 2030), India can and must be a global leader. She added, “The world will look to India to show leadership on this important issue and as we mark the one year anniversary of the passage of the MVAA 2019, we urge all States to implement the provisions. The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) works to strengthen road safety with a multisectoral approach. We believe it is important to focus on key behavioural factors and work together with stakeholders to achieve this goal. GRSP is working with law enforcement agencies in India to enhance traffic law enforcement efforts. I urge all stakeholders to work together to continue to save lives on Indian roads.”.

Various MPs intervened to discuss the policy reforms needed to improve road safety.

The final session of the webinar included a discussion with the State Transport Ministers. Shri R.C. Faldu of Gujarat, the Minister of State, Shri Ishwarsinh Thakorbhai Patel, and Shri Yunus Khan, Chairman, GOM on Road Safety & Transport and former Transport Minister of Rajasthan emphasized the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to tackle road safety issues.

In discussing the need for a concerted effort in tackling this important issue, Shri Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer Voice said, “It’s been a year since the passage of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act and Consumer Voice being part of the Road Safety Network felt it was important to bring together all the stakeholders and create a common platform to discuss the strategies for effective implementation of the Act. We hope to see swift action by all government stakeholders in ensuring effective implementation of the Act to save lives.”.

Watch the full Webinar here: https://www.facebook.com/ConsumerVoiceIndia

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