Saturday, 21 October 2017

India and its road safety laws

                         India has the second largest road networks in the world and accounts for 10% of worldwide road fatalities. Laws regulating the traffic on the road are provided under the motor vehicles act, 1988 is an act of passed by the parliament of India which came into force July 1, 1989 and is applicable to whole of India however lapses in traffic laws regulations, violations and accidents are glaring reality. India was having such enactment in place since the year 1914 but the menace of driving is still on and victims look upon the suitability of laws to curb such menace.
Important traffic laws in India:-
Road safety is a state subject. The administration of the motor vehicles act, 1988 is under the transport department, which is one of the largest revenue earning departments. The aforesaid act provides in detail the legislative provisions regarding licensing of drivers/conductors, registration of motor vehicles, control of motor vehicles through permits, special provisions relating to state transport undertakings, traffic regulation, insurance, liability, offences and penalties, etc. For exercising the legislative provisions of the act, the government of India made central motor vehicles rules 1989. Additionally, there are rules of road regulations, 1989. The aforesaid transport department works with two of the concerned authorities, under section 68 of the motor vehicles act, 1988. The RTO with which every individual is interacting, its services are discussed below.
Services provided by R.T.O:-
Related to driving license:
  • Issuing learner license.
  • Renewal of learner license.
  • Issuing driving license.
  • Renewal of driving license ( issued in same and other office).
  • Noting change of address in learner and driving license.
  • Issuing international driving permit.
  • conductor license.
Related to registration of vehicles:
  • temporary registration of vehicles.
  • Permanent registration of vehicles.
  • Transfer of ownership.
  • Entry of hopscotching/ hire- purchase/ lease agreement.
  • Termination of hopscotching/ hire- purchase / lease agreement.
  • Change of address.
  • Issue of no objection certificate.
  • Issue of clearance certificate.
Collection of tax:
  • Payment of tax.
The compliance of these regulations formulated are enforced by the enforcement agencies including traffic police. If in any case somebody violates the rules and regulations related to traffic laws then they are bound to issue challans against the offender under penal actions as per motor vehicles act, 1988.
Laws relating to registration of vehicle:-
  • Mandatory registration: Under section 39 of the motor vehicle act, 1988 it prohibits driving of any motor vehicle, which is not registered or no owner of vehicle should permit driving of an unregistered vehicle in public place which is not registered under the provision of MV act. Exception to this provision is cars with the dealers.
  • Jurisdiction of application: Registration of the vehicle is done by the concerned authority is done on the basis of your residence or place of residence or place of business, where the vehicle is normally kept.
  • Application for jointly owned vehicle: In case of joint ownership, the registration of vehicle can be applied by one of the owners. If a vehicle registered in one state is kept in another state for more than a period of 12 months, then owner of the vehicle has to approach the registration authority mark within whose jurisdiction the vehicle is.
  • Change of address: If there is change of address, then also, the owner of vehicle is required to approach the authority within 30 days in whose jurisdiction he has shifted for recording the change of address.
Laws relating to driving license:
  • Effective driving license: Any person not otherwise disqualified to hold a driving license may apply for it. As per the section 3 of the central motor vehicle act, 1988 says nobody can drive at any public place until he holds an effective driving license.
  • Age limit for obtaining the driving license: No person who is below the age of 18 years shall drive a motor vehicle of engine capacity not exceeding 50cc can drive under the age of 16 years. No person under the age of 20 years shall drive a transport vehicle.
  • Learners license: The learners license means a license issued by the competent authority to drive as a learner or a motor vehicle specified under a special class or description. The validity period of learners license of 6 months.
  • Learners license to drive a transport vehicle: It can not be given unless he drives a light motor vehicle for one year.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be granted a learners license to drive a motor vehicle without gear except in writing with person having care of person having the desire of learners license.
Test of competence to drive a vehicle: It would given in the vehicle specified to obtain the driving license.
  • Power to revoke license: Licensing authority has power to revoke the license of medically unfit person. Automatic suspension of license by a person who has caused death or grievous hurt of one or more persons.
  • Conditions under which licensing authority can revoke a license:
  • Habitual criminal
  • Drunkard
  • Addicted to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Has used or is using a motor vehicle in commissioning of offence
  • Any fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining the DL
  • Driving to cause danger to public on the basis of previous conduct
  • A person under the age of 18 years who has been granted the learners license is at present not under the care of such guardian.
Laws relating to pedestrian:
Indian law under the motor vehicle act, 1988 and other related act provide for preventing the vehicles to run on footpaths. There are several acts that safeguard pedestrians rights indirectly.The Indian penal code (1860) sections 279[1], 304 ( punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), and 336[] /337/338 protects the public, which includes pedestrians, against rash driving and negligence by motorists.
  • the duty of the driver to slow down when approaching a pedestrian crossing(rule 8)
  • that no driver can park a motor vehicle near a traffic light or on a pedestrian crossing or a footpath (rule 15)
  • motor vehicles are not allowed to drive on the footpaths or cycle lane except with permission from the police officer on duty( rule 11).
The municipal corporation Acts also protects public roads and streets by terming all obstructions illegal unless they are made with prior permission of the collector. They are entitled to ascertain the footpath width of the public roads. under the persons with disabilities act 1995, the government must provide for authority signals, engraving on the zebra crossings, slopes in pavements for easy access of wheel chair, and warning signals at appropriate places.

By- Sandhyasri Kukkala

Friday, 22 September 2017

Are Driverless Cars Our Best Bet For Safer Roads?

It is believed that the ultimate road safety feature that we will see is that of automation, given that Some ninety percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused at least in part by human error. Automation of the driving task is unquestionably one of the most important issues occupying the mind of vehicle developers and road authorities and many organisations in adjacent sectors. All are keen to capture the promised value in improved safety, cleaner travel, greater efficiency, and to tackle real societal challenges posed by a growing, ageing and increasingly urbanised population. Technology is causing boundaries to be blurred. Where once there was a common understanding of the terms ‘car’, ‘road’ and ‘driver’, new categories of vehicle are emerging that challenge these previously fixed concepts.

However, the race to deliver effective automated vehicle mobility services is global and highly competitive. There have certainly been some impressive demonstrations including Otto (owned by Uber) transporting 50,000 beers in a truck that completed 120 highway miles with no human intervention. Google, now operating through its recently launched mobility services brand, Waymo, has just surpassed three million miles of automated operation across a fleet of vehicles in various locations across the US. Tesla is collecting data from drivers of its vehicles equipped with the AutoPilot partial automation functionality, giving access to data from over a billion miles of vehicles equipped with automation systems.

This new piece of tech has promised us Safer and greener driving. At least The lab coats from the automotive industry certainly appear to think so. Their confidence is based on one founding premise: that smart technologies can operate cars a whole lot better and more efficiently than people.

Imagine a car that can communicate with the cloud to identify the location of accidents or road congestion ahead, and then automatically re-route, for instance. Or put yourself in a vehicle that can "talk" to traffic lights wirelessly and regulate your speed so as to hit a green light every time. That's very efficient because when you're stopping and starting that's when you have the most load on the engine, which means more fuel use.

It's the promise of greater safety where autonomous driving really comes into its own, industry advocates claim. Ultimately, most accidents happen because of human error. Computers don't get sleepy or distracted, or take their eyes off the road because they want to change the radio station or make a phone call. Note that Google's self-drive vehicle has never so much as nudged another car.

These achievements are truly as exciting as they are remarkable, and human casualties involving road accidents will certainly fall as a direct result of this. However, the way I see it, the industries can further make automated vehicles more safe in two ways. Firstly, they must be able to articulate clearly the relative safety of automated vehicles when compared to the behavior of human drivers. This is a far from trivial task but being able to illustrate how automated vehicles avoid many of the common situations that result in road collisions will be of paramount importance in reinforcing the value of pursuing their development and use. Secondly, companies involved in the development of automated vehicles should be prepared to share safety-relevant vehicle data with industry competitors. Of course, it could be that people just like being in control behind the wheel. Autonomy, after all, is a very personal thing.

Pratyush IIT Delhi
IIT Delhi

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

"Take it easy driving - the life you save may be mine." Adage attribution James Dean.

Having read the statistics that state : "There is one death every four minutes due to road accident in India", "16 children die on Indian roads daily." I feel extremely saddened and traumatized. With over 1,30,000 deaths annually, road accidents have earned India a dubious distinction.

The fact that India has the highest number of road accidents in the world scares my wits as I imagine myself become victim of any such accident, but what scares me even more is to think "what if I victimise somebody", the very fact that I might become the reason for somebody's else's death is dreadful. Extremely dreadful.

Having noticed that, we blame one another for being the reason behind these life preying accidents itself is an indication that there is an immense need for us to understand and improve our own fallacies. These fallacies on a very minimalistic view include: over speeding, red light crossing, not wearing helmets/seat belts, drunken driving and forge licensing. However, bad road design and poor maintenance of roads are definitely some core reasons that increase major digits in list of deceased.

It is time for us to start working on our personal level in order to reduce the number of deaths. If this is not done with our at most urgency then we, our children and their children too might loose the opportunity to experience the joy of that extra mile where there are no traffic jams. Because life has a lot to show you and in the words of Robert Frost, no road should be left unexplored being "The Road Not Taken."

PS: Never let a stumble in the road be the end of your journey.

Bhumika Saraswati

Monday, 13 February 2017


Nowadays ,  people are always in a hurry to reach their destination whether it be entrepreneurs going for work or bus drivers taking student to school , young undergraduate rushing to colleges or business employee going to their workplaces. The question arises why does everybody drive in a hurry , the simplest  answer in the  all of we , you and I , leave on homes just to make our visit expected time , not early this “rush in the last home” makes thing go in haphazard manner things go in accidents , collisions and ultimately deaths. “let us beware”
D:\vice city   GTA\road-accident.png

NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC INJURY FATALITY RATE According to official statistics 141,526 persons were killed and 477,731 injured in road traffic crashes in India in 2014 (NCRB, 2015). However, this is probably an underestimate, as not all injuries are reported to the police (Gururaj, G., 2006, Mohan, D. et al., 2009). The actual numbers of injuries requiring hospital visits may be 2,000,000-3,000,000 persons. The basis for these estimates is given in later section. The situation in India is worsening and road traffic injuries (RTI) have been increasing over the past twenty years . This may be partly due to the increase in number of vehicles on the road but mainly due to the absence of coordinated evidence-based policy to control the problem. These data show that the number of fatalities has continued to increase at about seven per cent a year over the past decade except over the last couple of years.
Tamil Naidu records the highest road accidents for a decade and its capital Chennai has more accident than any other city

In New Delhi, the capital of India, the frequency of traffic collisions is 40 times higher than the rate in London, the capital of the United Kingdom.[3]
Maharashtra has always highest number of accidents compared to all other states of of India. According to a report Maharashtra had 71550 accidents motor vehicle accidents in year 2000 as per the "IndianStat report - Number of Motor Vehicle Accident In India 1998-2000(State wise)".[1]
Traffic collision-related deaths increased from 13 per hour in 2008 to 14 per hour in 2009. More than 40 per cent of these casualties are associated with motorcycles and trucks. The most accident-prone time on Indian roads is during the peak hour at afternoon and evening.[1]
According to road traffic safety experts, the actual number of casualties may be higher than what is documented, as many traffic accidents go unreported. Moreover, victims who die some time after the accident, a span of time which may vary from a few hours to several days, are not counted as car accident victims.[1]
In 2015, one person dies every 4 minutes in roads accidents in India, according to NGO 'Indians for Road Safety'.[2]
India stands out miserably in the latest World Health Organisation's (WHO) "Global Road Safety Report-2015" with an
This shows we are still a victim of road accidents.
Road safety is emerging as a major social concern in the country and Indian government tackles this crucial issue for several years. The Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014 should provide a framework for safer, faster, cost-effective and inclusive movement of passengers and freight in India. In July 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will soon introduce laws to enhance road safety as traffic fatalities and injuries mount. A new Road Transport and Safety Bill is under preparation and a group of experts underlined the "urgent" need of a comprehensive national road safety legislation.
Embarq India, an initiative from the World Resources Institute (WRI),] has developed significant expertise in conducting road safety audits on a number of bus rapid transit systems in India. Arrive SAFE is a NGO who works as a pressure group to give a wake-up call to authorities concerned and shake the bad driving habits of Indian people. Indian driving schools focuses on youth to enhance the art and skill of efficient driving.
Many multinational companies fund NGOs as part of their own road safety initiatives:
Maruti Suzuki closely works with Ministry of Tribal Development in Gujarat to train young people in driving.
Michelin, co-founder of the Global Road Safety Initiatives (GRSI), has established, in India, an innovative partnership with the foundation of PVR Cinemas, PVR Nest as part of its CineArt "Steer to Safety" program to educate and empower children about road safety. Through this platform, children learn how to prevent and/or manage in emergency situations on Indian roads.
Henkel has launched a road safety initiative in an effort to address the topical issue of safety standards on the road in India
  • Passenger restraints such as seat belts — often in conjunction with laws requiring their use — and airbags
  • Crash avoidance equipment such as lights and reflectors
  • Driver assistance systems such as Electronic Stability Control
  • Crash survivability design including fire-retardant interior materials, standards for fuel system integrity, and the use of safety glass
  • Speed control in urban areas: maximum speed limits of 50 km/h on arterial roads need to be enforced by road design and police monitoring, and 30 km/h in residential areas and by judicious use of speed-breakers, dead-end streets and mini roundabouts
  • Pedestrian safety regulations for cars to be notified.
  • Youth can also organize awareness campaign:
  • Street Skills : Help teenagers who don't yet have license to become more responsible drivers

Bhuvesh Shokeen