ALAPPUZHA: The National Road Safety Board (NRSB) mandated by the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 is expected to be a game-changer in reducing accidents.
The NRSB can spot analyse and suggest solutions to improve road safety to global standards.
With 147,913 people dying on its roads in 2017 alone, India has one of the worst records in the area.
The NRSB will advise governments on matters of road safety and traffic management, including design, manufacturing, operation and maintenance of motor vehicles, road safety, road infrastructure, and control of traffic.
It will also have a mandate to manage programmes for educating motorists.
Experts say hefty fines and taxes also make the authorities responsible for providing flawless roads.
They want competent and committed people on the panel and legal impunity to enforce rules vigorously.
Road safety expert Upendra Narayanan said the road infrastructure needed critical changes. The panel should be able to handle a professional accident investigation as in western countries.
For instance, in the UK, whenever an accident occurs, a thorough investigation will follow and accurate data gathered.
It will analyse the root cause and suggest control measures to prevent its repeat.
“So the NRSB should work towards a professional accident investigation,“ he says.
The NRSB will also ensure proper road infrastructure, including traffic signals, signage and cautionary markings on the road, meets legal requirements.
"Poor road infrastructure should be challenged in a court of law as the government is going to impose hefty fines for traffic violations," he said.
Since the law is on the concurrent list, the NRSB will make the state government reform regional transport authorities, generally ridden with widespread corruption.
It will also come up with a system of mandatory e-delivery services at RTOs that was suggested by the previous UPA government.
The Board will check the implementation of section 198 A of MV Amendment Act that holds contractors liable for lapses.
As per the new provision, the contractor has to follow the standards prescribed by the Union government or face action.
It will rein in the VIP culture where government vehicles often violate traffic rules and get away with it....