Guwahati, Sunday, September 8, 2019
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State road mishaps claim 928 lives in last 6 months
 GUWAHATI, Sept 7 - In the last six months, about 2,359 accidents took place at different places of the State in which 928 lost their lives and 1,980 people received injuries.

The data was revealed by Prasanta Saikia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Guwahati while delivering his speech in a stakeholder workshop on road safety held here recently. The workshop was jointly organised by the Consumer Legal Protection Forum and Consumer VOICE, New Delhi. In his speech, Saikia asserted that it's time to make the new rules amended in the Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 effective so that casualties can be prevented.

Attending the event, Gautam Das, District Transport Officer of Kamrup district, said, “The Transport department is working on road safety in Assam to make state roads safer. We were following the Central government's MVA, 1988 and also have Assam Motor Vehicles Rules, 2003 which includes the main risk factors relating to road safety. We will follow and include the new amended rules to make stringent enforcement.”

Recently, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019 has been passed and got the assent of the President of India. This amendment aims to make Indian roads safer, reduce corruption and use technology to overhaul the country's transportation system.

“The consultation mainly focused on the six vital pillars of road safety which are seen as the best global practice to reduce road casualties. Assam has taken lead in efforts to strengthen road safety and it's high time to have a consultation process with the stakeholders concerned to make the necessary legislative framework within the shortest possible time,” a statement said.

Addressing the gathering, Ashim Sanyal, a senior official of the Consumer VOICE, said, “The most effective way to reduce road crash deaths is through strengthening road safety laws. We appreciate and congratulate the government for giving a green signal to the most-awaited Motor Vehicles Act, 2019. According to the Road Transport and Highways ministry, half a million accidents are reported in India every year, in which 1,50,000 people lose their lives. The amendment Act will help reduce road fatalities and injuries with stringent penalties.”

According to the government data, road crash fatalities figure in India currently hovers around 1.5 lakh. The number of lives lost on national highways during last year was 54,046 as compared to 53,181 in 2017.

Ajoy Hazarika, secretary, Consumer Legal Protection Forum, said over 50 per cent of road deaths in recent years have been in the age group of 14-35. These deaths were caused because of high speed, breaking traffic signals, not wearing helmets or seat belts, tipsy driving among other causes. These can be effectively stopped by enforcing the new MVA rules, he added.

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