India is a victim of numerous road accidents annually. Road safety is a necessary measure that needs to be taken for the safety of all road users. It is the all-encompassing methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or injured. The typical road users include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, vehicle passengers and passengers of on-road public transport. India’s road safety is the worst in the record. About 149,000 people lost their lives on Indian roads in 2018 alone. India accounts for about 2% of motor vehicles globally. Yet, it is the home for more than 11% of the world’s road traffic deaths. According to a UN study, India loses 3% of its GDP to road accidents by removing prime age adults from the workforce. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was enacted this year to address the hazard of deaths and injuries due to road accidents. According to Union Transport Minister, it could come down by half if the provisions of this Act are implemented stringently.
Automobile sales in India saw a steep decline in July this year. The automobile sector is currently facing prolonged demand slowdown for the past 12 months. This had cost at least 15, 000 job losses within 2-3 months, during the period when India is facing an unemployment crisis and overall economic slowdown.
FASTag is made mandatory for all vehicles, private and commercial, from January 15, 2020. According to the FASTag transactions data released on January 1, 2020, by National Payments Corporation of India, about 6.4 crore FASTag transactions, worth Rs.1,256 crore, were processed in December against 3.4 crore transactions worth Rs.774 crore in November. Paytm Payments Bank issued over 40% of all FASTags in December. Currently, the government is taking the necessary steps to promote it.
The government has set the target of achieving 100% Electric vehicles by 2030. Manufacturing and putting the electric cars on road is the vision to make India pollution free along with saving billions of dollars in fuel cost and creating new job opportunities. However, there are also criticisms that India is not yet ready for electric vehicles which we will discuss in this article with a suitable way forward.