Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

Steering road safety in India back onto the right lane


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

Mains level : road safety in India

Maharashtra Records A Dip In Road Accidents In Last Three Years

Central idea

India’s road safety crisis, witnessing an estimated 300,000 annual fatalities, demands immediate interventions. Despite economic progress, road crashes cost 5-7% of the national GDP, emphasizing the need for strategic investments, political will, and a collective mindset shift. Urgent actions are crucial to curb this silent but deadly pandemic.

Key Highlights:

  • India’s Annual Road Fatalities: Approximately 3,00,000 people lose their lives on Indian roads annually.
  • Global Road Deaths: India contributes to 25% of the worldwide road fatalities.
  • India’s Disproportionate Role: Despite global road safety concerns, one in four road deaths occurs in India.
  • Economic Toll: Road crashes in India impose a substantial economic cost, ranging from 5-7% of the nation’s GDP.


  • Urgent Intervention Needed: Over 34 deaths per hour underscore the critical need for immediate and coordinated action.
  • Economic Impact: The economic toll of road crashes in India is substantial, affecting the nation’s GDP.
  • Economic Toll: Road crashes in India impose a substantial economic cost, ranging from 5-7% of the nation’s GDP.
  • State Disparities: The economic impact varies across states, impacting the quality of emergency care and after-care services.

Key Data:

  • Annual Road Fatalities: Approximately 3,00,000 people are estimated to be killed on Indian roads every year. Equivalent to more than 34 people every hour of every day.
  • Economic Toll: Road crashes in India are estimated to cost between 5% and 7% of the national GDP.
  • Global Road Safety: Positions road safety as a global problem, with 1.3 million people killed in road crashes every year.

Key Phrases:

  • Silent Pandemic: Describes road-related fatalities as a silent but deadly pandemic demanding attention.
  • Whole-of-Society Effort: Emphasizes the need for a collaborative approach involving government, private sector, and citizens.
  • World Day of Remembrance: Commemorates the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on November 19.
  • Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019: Indicates positive steps taken by the Indian government to enhance road safety measures.


  • Pedestrians and Two-Wheelers: Emphasizes the vulnerability of pedestrians, cyclists, and two-wheeler riders, constituting 75% of road deaths in India.
  • Policy Impact: Acknowledges positive steps like the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, and improved data collection while emphasizing the need for a comprehensive safe-system approach.
  • Legislative Impact: Acknowledges positive steps like the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, and emphasizes the need for strategic investments in road safety measures.
  • Data-Driven Approach: Highlights the importance of enhanced data collection to understand the causes and locations of road crashes better.

Way Forward:

  • Seatbelt and Helmet Use: Prioritize the enforcement of seatbelt and helmet use for both drivers and passengers to significantly reduce fatalities.
  • Behavioral Change: Emphasize the importance of public awareness campaigns like #MakeASafetyStatement to instigate behavioral changes and promote road safety.
  • Large-Scale Initiatives: Launch campaigns on a national scale, such as #MakeASafetyStatement, involving international celebrities, to raise awareness and instigate behavioral changes.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Encourage a whole-of-society effort involving the government, private sector, and citizens for effective road safety measures.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥💥[Course]Smash Ethics by AIR 48, Ethics Topper 133 marks.
This is default text for notification bar