Petitioning The Prime Minister of India - Road Safety in Delhi

Petitioning The Prime Minister of India - Road Safety in Delhi is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see. A new petition set up by students at IIT New Dehli petitions the Prime Minister of India and calls upon all people in all countries to sign up and help raise awareness of road safety in the country and beyond.

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Petition by: Somit Pangtey, New Delhi, India

A few weeks ago four of our friends lost their lives in a horrific car crash on the road to Jaisalmer. A few weeks later another three were victims of a motorcycle crash in our neighboring institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University. These events have prompted deep introspection on our campus and some of us met last week to discuss what we can do to do move toward safer roads and traffic management in India.

At this meeting it was agreed that we should start a campaign to put pressure on the national government to institute policies that control the scourge of deaths, disabilities and injuries resulting from traffic crashes in India. Road accidents cause about 150,000 deaths, 500,000 disabilities, and 3 million hospitalisations every year. This needless and unnecessary carnage on our roads cannot be allowed to continue.

We will send the appeal below to the Prime Minister and all Chief Ministers. Please sign the appeal and help us take this campaign for traffic safety forward. Please forward this appeal to all your friends so that we can make this a broad based national movement.

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Road conditions in India are notoriously dangerous.

The Petition:

To: The Prime Minister of India
We are writing to you as students, parents, teachers, and professionals. The immense toll of deaths and injuries on Indian roads has brought home to us the magnitude of this problem in India. Traffic accidents have become a leading cause of death for young people in our country. This is because of the unconscionable neglect of policies that could reverse this trend.

It is estimated that road traffic crashes in India result in about 150,000 deaths, an estimated 500,000 disabilities and 3,000,000 hospitalisations every year. Many countries around the world have lowered the rates of deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents by putting in place evidence-based scientific safety policies and programmes. We must take this problem seriously and adopt effective safety policies. We have made this an open letter, as the issue has recently become a live debate in the country and urge you to have the following safety policies implemented on an urgent basis.

  1. The National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in May 2010. The Bill recommends that a statutory National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board be established in India. This Board needs to be established forthwith.
  2. Cars sold in India are not tested for crashworthiness. Crashworthiness standards complying with international best practices must be made compulsory for all motor vehicles sold in India by end of 2016.
  3. Compulsory helmet wearing regulations as included in the Motor Vehicles Act must be notified in all states with immediate effect.
  4. The police departments of all states must enforce compulsory seat belt wearing regulations for all motor vehicle occupants.
  5. The Motor Vehicles Act includes very specific regulations regarding drinking and driving. Special funds must be allocated to enable random breath testing of drivers in all cities and highways.
  6. Notified speed limits must be enforced by special drives, speed cameras, and other technologies on all urban roads and highways.
  7. Provision must be made for establishing a common country wide number for emergency help.
  8. Special trauma care training must be provided for doctors working in all district hospitals.
  9. Establish centres of excellence for traffic safety research in academic institutions around the country
  10. Set up a high level task force to implement the recommendations on traffic safety given by the High Level National Transport Development Policy Committee.

It is important to note that we are in the middle of the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Road traffic injuries and fatalities have been declared a major public health crisis globally. The policy prescriptions listed above are in consonance with those reommended by the World Health Organization to deal with this crisis.

All of us signatories to this appeal expect and hope that you will take an active interest in reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our roads.

Cc: Chief Minsters of all states.

[Your name]

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Communications Officer at YOURS, Mr Manpreet Darroch said, "It is inspiring to see these young people take action against the loss of their friends' lives. Unfortunately, there are so many friends, family and loved ones killed on the roads every day and this is why young people themselves are taking action to demand road safety. It is a great example of youth taking their message directly to the top with the hopes of changing the status quo. YOURS supports this campaign and we encourage the global youth network for road safety to add their name, every name added is a hand of solidarity in saving young lives".



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