Seat belt compliance increased post MV Act changes: Study
The study was conducted by road safety organization SaveLIFE Foundation across three major sections in Delhi and Mumbai; Burari, Bhalswa and Mukundpur Chowk in Delhi and the Mumbai Pune Expressway (MPEW) and Old Mumbai Pune Highway (NH48) in Maharashtra.
A study conducted on four key stretches in Delhi and Mumbai after the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 notes seat belt compliance in those sections increased while violations for overloading of two wheelers and commercial vehicles dipped.
The study was conducted by road safety organization Save LIFE Foundation across three major sections in Delhi and Mumbai; Burari, Bhalswa and Mukundpur Chowk in Delhi and the Mumbai Pune Expressway (MPEW) and Old Mumbai Pune Highway (NH48) in Maharashtra.
According to the study, there was a 17.8% increase in usage of seat belts for passenger car drivers Burari chowk in Delhi while an 80.5% increase in bus drivers wearing seat belts was observed on the same section. Overloading of buses also went down by 18.41% on Burari chowk.
A 10% increase in usage of helmets on Bhalswa chowk was noted while 13.4% decrease in overloading by two wheelers was observed across the same stretch.
In Maharashtra, seat belt compliance increased by 13% while the compliance remained almost the same for light motor vehicles—an increase of 1 percentage point. The study also noted a 26 % increase in seat belt usage among bus drivers and an increase of 21% among truck drivers.
“Before the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act there was an 82% violation of the seatbelt rule. This halved to nearly 41% violation,” the study observed.
As many as 63 clauses of the newly amended Act pertaining to heftier penalties for traffic violations came into effect from September 1.
On the first day, 39,000 drivers in New Delhi were fined for various offences, including violations like triple riding, pollution, tampered number plates, using pressure horns, and talking on mobile phone while riding/driving.
“The awareness generated after the notification of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 has positively influenced the behaviour of road users. We expect this to improve further as enforcement of and compliance with the new law increases. This will also eventually lead to a reduction in road fatalities across India,” said Piyush Tewari, CEO, SaveLIFEfoundation.
Just a day after the new penalties came into force, a man in Gurugram was fined ₹23,000 for riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet and also for not carrying important documents.
In Odisha’s Bhubaneswar on Wednesday an auto- rickshaw driver was imposed a hefty penalty of ₹47,500 for driving without a valid permit, licence and registration.
This had also prompted states to opt out of hefty penalties provided under the Act. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh joined a growing band of states that say the fines, which have increased in some cases by as much as tenfold, are too high. Gujarat and Uttarakhand, both ruled by the BJP, have already lowered fines while another BJP-administered state, Karnataka, has indicated it will slash penalties soon.
Election-bound Maharashtra has also put the new law on hold and West Bengal has said it will not enforce the new penalties.
Hindustan Times had last week reported that Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari plans to call up chief ministers of states that have either slashed or refused to implement steep fines under the modified Motor Vehicles Act, a senior official said on Thursday, even as the ministry sought legal opinion on provisions under which some states have revised traffic penalties.
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