New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday exhorted insurance companies to shun "hypocrisy", asking them to focus on road safety initiatives and not just keep thriving on hefty premiums.
"I am unhappy with insurance companies....they charge hefty premiums but make no contribution to road safety ...Automobile manufactures have huge profit margins...I don't buy this hypocrisy," the minister said at an event here.
Insurance companies all over the world whether in the US, UK or Europe, contribute significantly towards road safety programme but their approach in India is callous, the minister said.
If there are less accidents, the biggest beneficiaries will be insurers but they don't contribute in this area which is not good, he said adding the ministry had approached insurers to join hands in this regard but they failed to even respond.
An official told PTI that only after several reminders GIC agreed to take up the issue seriously. Gadkari said India unfortunately accounted for maximum global road accidents at 5 lakh per annum in which 1.5 lakh people lost lives annually. But, there is sheer lack of sensitivity among insurers and automakers.
"Sixty-nine per cent victims of road crashes are young. Every day 30 children lose their lives," but these fail to move the insurers, he said.
The minister also asked people to take snapshots of trucks without side and back protection and vehicles with faulty designs and send them on mParivahan mobile app for action against RTOs who allow such vehicles.
He said such RTOs will face FIRs. Besides, he had asked railway ministry to see whether red and green signals can be installed at railway crossings to avert mishaps, Gadkari said.
He said once the Motor Vehicle Bill is passed in Parliament, widespread reforms are expected in the transport sector as the Bill has hefty penalties and stricter norms for violators of traffic norms. He said only those people were opposing the Bill who have vested interests....