Please consider sending our group’s comments on the subject bill to the ministry.
My preliminary comments: ( Detailed comments require in depth study)
The bill deals with constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights to life, free and safe mobility, equality before law and inclusiveness.
Vehicle worthy and pedestrian worthy roads are as important, if not more, as road worthy vehicles. The bill lacks in enough focus on pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian infrastructure includes well maintained public sanitary facilities, to keep environment clean and safe for all, not just prevention of vehicular pollution. Municipal garbage boxes / heavy bins / houses which mostly affect the pedestrians, should be removed / demolished from Road sides. Garbage vehicles should move the trash ( appropriately segregated right at the sources) straight from the source to the recycling units / appropriately designed landfills.
Enforcing Air quality standards is part of right to life.
Foot paths and gaps in road dividers should be wheel chair friendly. It should be recognized that he needs of dumb and deaf are different from the needs of people with sight defects – blindness and color blindness. 305-page document should give details of inclusive safety measures.
Villages /Towns along National and State Highways should have local citizens’ committees on Road safety. Respective Transport authorities should convene meetings of such committees on yearly basis without fail and as per seasonal needs. Panchayaths and Municipal wards along village/ city roads should have ward representation in all activities from Road design to O,M&E (with reference to pedestrian facilities and quality of Road construction).
(310) Offences relating to visibility.
USING DIPPER IN THE NIGHT (DIM/DIP) INORDER NOT TO AFFECT THE VISION OF THOSE COMING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION SHOULD BE MADE COMPULSORY AND NOT DOING SO SHOULD BE TREATED AS A PUNISHABLE OFFENCE. Appropriate mechanisms need to be defined for the same. Right in Delhi, majority of Drivers don’t dim/dip !
(182) City Safety and Traffic Management Improvement Program
MOTORISED VEHICLES MEANT FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS – SAFETY,VISIBILITY, SAFE DISTANCE need special mention.
CHAPTER II: Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India
(5) Composition of the National Authority and selection committee
(24) Composition of the State Safety Authority.
25) Selection committee for appointing the Chairperson and the members of the State Safety
Representation of Civil Society Organisations on National and State Authorities and selection committees will be part of the inclusiveness the bill intends to focus on.
Those who take accident victims to Hospitals should not be required to visit Police Stations and Courts. They may be requested to give their addresses to the Hospital / Police, if present at the hospital.
They may be visited by the representatives of Government and/or Police station for obtaining any additional information. Hospital expenses in all accident cases, not just the Golden hour expenses, should be borne by either Insurance Companies or paid for from The National Road Accident Fund. Victims of accidents or their kith and kin should not be made to pay.
Accident claims (Compensation) need to be settled within six months of the accident. The affected parties can go to the Court within two months from the date of accepting the payment from Insurance / Government. All court cases related to such compensation should be concluded within six months from the date of filing the case.
(312) Railroad Crossing Offences
In a globalized India, having unmanned Rail-Road crossings is an anachronism. Many accidents take place in several states at unmanned Rail-Road crossings. Both the Ministries of Road transport and Railways should modernize all such crossings and related signaling system within two years.
(316) Failure to comply with standards for road design, construction & maintenance
Please see the suggestion under (338)
(321) Power to arrest without warrant.
Citizens have a right to arrest the Traffic rule violators or those whose actions resulted in accidents till police arrive at the spot and take the violator into custody.
(338) Co-operative Citizen Enforcement [Refer to (316) and sections dealing with M&E frameworks]
Yearly mandatory social audit of the status of Pedestrian infrastructure and quality of roads which includes ground truth verification of utilization of O&M allocations both at State and Central levels.