New Delhi, April 29: Road safety organisations and citizen groups around the country on Wednesday urged the government — under pressure from transport unions - not to succumb to their threats and dilute the Road Transport and Safety Bill. Responding to the strike called by the transport unions against the bill and reports of significant dilution of the draft bill, the organisations and affected families have requested the government “not to compromise on the safety of road users”. “My 23-year-old daughter, a doctor, was crushed by a lorry. My heartfelt request and plea to the law makers of this country is please do not dilute the road safety bill. Please do not buckle under pressure from various lobbies,” said Bengalurean Shubhangi Tambwekar, who established the Arundhati Foundation in memory of her deceased daughter.
Various transport unions across the country have called a strike on April 30 to protest the strict safety standards sought in the bill. In the latest version of the bill, uploaded on the website of the ministry of road transport and highways, the government has slashed pelties to as low as Rs.500, even for life-threatening traffic violations, a citizen group statement said. It has also significantly diluted the powers of the proposed safety regulator by creating provisions to supersede its authority.
Piyush Tewari, founder of SaveLIFE Foundation said: “It seems the government is going back on its promise to introduce a strong road safety law despite losing a union cabinet minister to a road accident less than a year ago.” According to the tiol Crime Records Bureau, over 10 lakh people have been killed on India’s roads in the last decade. (IANS)