The avoidable death of Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident has brought to the fore concerns over road safety, especially in regard to the use of seat belts and helmets. The Indian Head Injury Foundation (IHIF) is a member of the stakeholders group working closely with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to alleviate the sufferings of road users, build better roads, provide training for first-responders, create awareness and rehabilitation to victims. It has been working to get a new Motor Vehicle Act and a Good Samaritan Act passed by our law-makers.

These efforts have led the Supreme Court to constitute a three-member committee headed by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan to ensure comprehensive steps to reduce trauma caused on our killer roads especially in rural areas. It will also monitor the enforcement of statutory provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act. The Supreme Court has termed India’s roads to be giant killers and has favoured a four directional approach — of enforcement, engineering, education and emergency care. It has urged the State and Central governments to submit the first report within three months on the way ahead. The new Union Ministers in charge of Health and Surface Transport are aware of this.

Ranbir Talwar, New Delhi

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