In the past decade, over 1 million people in India have been killed in road accidents and over 5 million have been left seriously injured or permanently disabled. In the year 2007, India surpassed China to become world number one in road accident deaths and continues to maintain the dubious distinction with 15 deaths every hour on average. Not only do they exact severe emotional trauma on lakhs of families each year, road accidents also cause an annual economic loss of at least 3% of India’s GDP. Vulnerable Road Users are the most affected by this travesty including young children – 20 children (aged 0-14) die every day in Road Accidents in India. In addition, an alarming number of families fall into poverty after losing their primary breadwinners to such accidents.

The causes for India’s exceptionally high number of road accidents include bad road user behaviour, flawed road design and engineering, weak enforcement of traffic laws and the lack of rapid trauma care. The sole statute governing Road Safety in India, the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA) has proved ineffective in addressing any of the aforementioned issues decisively. The law deals exclusively with motorized transport and neither sets out Road Safety parameters nor regulates the flow of non-motorized traffic and people in urban agglomerates, highways and rural areas. The Act has seen no amendments in the past 13 years and is evidently a deficient legislation with respect to tackling the epidemic proportions that road accidents have reached in India.

Experts however agree that road accident deaths in India could be significantly reduced through a more comprehensive law and its strict enforcement.

SaveLIFE Foundation, in March and April 2014 organized high-level consultation meetings involving participants from 10 States across India to deliberate the need for a comprehensive national road safety law and develop specific, actionable recommendations to address 10 key issues identified by experts as needing urgent legislative attention. The meetings in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai brought together Secretaries to Central and State governments, senior Police officers, experts from institutions such as World Bank, Embarq, IIT, IISc, senior lawyers and doctors, and industry and civil society leaders.

The primary recommendation from these meetings was that India needs a comprehensive Road Safety Law. It was therefore recommended that the current Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 be repealed and a new comprehensive law including protection and regulation for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and children, be introduced.



  1. Mr. G.K. Pillai, Former Union Home Secretary (Delhi)
  2. Justice BN Srikrishna, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India (Mumbai)
  3. Mr. Sudhakar Rao, Former Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka (Bangalore)
  4. Smt. Santha Sheela Nair, Vice Chairperson, State Planning Commission, Government of Tamil Nadu (Chennai)


  1. Mr. Praveen Agarwal, Advocate & Partner, Agarwal Jetley & Co
  2. Dr. Monika Arora, Director, Health Promotion and Tobacco Control, Public Health Foundation of India
  3. Mr. Navdeep Asija, Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Expert, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission
  4. Dr. Damodar Bachani, Deputy Commissioner (NCD), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India
  5. Mr. Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Senior Transport Engineer, World Bank
  6. Mr. Dilip Chenoy, CEO & MD, National Skill Development Corporation
  7. Mr. R.K. Dhawan, Automotive Expert
  8. Mr. Satyendra K Garg, Inspector General of Police, Law & Order, Arunachal Pradesh
  9. Ms. Pushpa Girimaji, Author, Consumer Rights Columnist, Consumer Safety Advocate
  10. Ms. Manisha Gupta, Consultant, Global Road Safety Partnership
  11. Mr. G. Gurucharan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India
  12. Dr. Mahesh Joshi, Chairman, Society of Emergency Medicine in India and Group Head, Emergency Medicine, Apollo Hospitals Group
  13. Mr. Rajeev Lochan, Director (Road Safety), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India
  14. Mr. Rajeev D Mathur, Executive Director, Consumer Unity & Trust Society
  15. Mr. Alok Mittal, Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon Police
  16. Mr. Raghu Raman, Chief Executive Officer, National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
  17. Mr. Anil Shukla, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Delhi
  18. Mr. Mahavir Singh, Chief General Manager, National Highways Authority of India
  19. Mr. Ravinder Soni, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic Engineering), Delhi Police
  20. Prof. Geetam Tiwari, MoUD Chair, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi


  1. Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Secretary General, General Insurance Council,
  2. Mr. Ajit Dalvi, Managing Editor, AutoCar Professional
  3. Mr. Bhargav Dasgupta CEO & MD, ICICI Lombard General Insurance
  4. Shri. Prataprao R. Dighavkar, DCP Traffic, Mumbai Police
  5. Mr. Nitin Dossa, Executive Chairman, Western India Automobile Association
  6. Mr. Anibran Ghosh, Executive Vice President, Mahindra & Mahindra
  7. Dr. Haren Joshi, Honorary Director, EMS Council, Ahmedabad
  8. Dr. Manjul Joshipura, Consultant, WHO & former Senior Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon and Medical Director at Apollo Hospitals
  9. Ms. Rupa Kothari, Managing Trustee and Executive Director, Safe Kids Foundation
  10. Ms Renuka Kripalani, Editor- Autocarshow at Bloomberg TV India
  11. Mr. Binoy Mascarenhas, Manager-Urban Transport, EMBARQ India
  12. Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, State Excise Commissioner, Government of Maharashtra
  13. Mr. Shyamalkumar Mukherjee, Secretary (Works) P.W.D. Govt. of Maharashtra
  14. Dr. Sanjay Oak, Vice Chancellor, Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth
  15. Shri S. B. Sahastrabudhe, Additional Transport Commissioner, Government of Maharashtra
  16. Dr. Urvashi Shah, Clinical Neuropsychologist
  17. Mr. K. Shankar, Road Safety Specialist
  18. Ms. Armin Wandrewala, Advocate Bombay High Court


  1. Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Company Ltd.
  2. Mr. Soumitra Bhattacharya, Joint Managing Director, Bosch, India
  3. Ms. Vrunda Rao Bhaskar, Managing Trustee, Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness
  4. Mr. Lokesh Hebbani, Transportation Program Manager, Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transport and Urban Planning, (CiSTUP), Indian Institute of Science
  5. Ms. Yumna Harisingh Jawa, Social Activist
  6. Mr. Arun Sri Kumar, Advocate &Partner, Keystone Partners
  7. Shri D.Satya Murty, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Urban Development Department & Director, BMRCL
  8. Dr. Samuel Paul, Founder and Permanent Invitee, Public Affairs Centre Ms. Jenny Pinto, Road Safety Activist
  9. Dr Aruna Chala Ramesh, Prof. and HOD, Emergency Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals
  10. Mr. Nageswara Rao, P&T HSE Manager, Royal Dutch Shell
  11. Mr. M.N. Reddi, Additional Director General Police(Law and Order)
  12. Dr. M. A. Saleem, Commissioner of Police, Mysore
  13. Shri. P. N. Srinivasachary, Principal Secretary, Transport, Govt of Karnataka
  14. Mr. Praveen Sood, ADGP & MD Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation Ltd.
  15. Dr. Masood Sharief, Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project
  16. Mr. Sanjay Sridhar, Strategy Head – Urban Development and Accessibility, EMBARQ
  17. Mr Vasudev Sharma, Executive Director, Child Rights Trust
  18. Mr. R. A. Venkitachalam, Vice President & Managing Director, UL India Pvt. Ltd.


  1. Mr. A. Arun, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic – North), Tamil Nadu Police
  2. Mr. Sanjay Arora, Additional Director General of Police, Operations, Tamil Nadu Police
  3. Mr. Balakrishnan Ayyappan, Vice President – OSS at Rane TRW Steering Systems Ltd
  4. Mr. S Balachandran, Vice-President (Marketing), WABCO India Limited
  5. Mr. S R Balachandher, Company Secretary & Head-Compliance at Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Limited
  6. Mr. K. Prahalad Bhat, Advocate, Madras High Court
  7. Mr. Vicky Chandhok, Vice President, Madras Motor Sports Club
  8. Dr Prithika Chary, Senior consultant, Neurologist & Neurosurgeon
  9. Mr. Raj Cherubal, Director- Projects, Chennai City Connect
  10. Mr. R. Desikan, Chairman Emeritus, Consumer Association of India
  11. Dr. Sugato Dutt, Member Secretary IC – State Planning Commission, Government of Tamil Nadu
  12. Mr. S.S. Gopalarathnam, MD & CEO, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Limited
  13. Mr. Advait Jani, Program Coordinator, ITDP Chennai
  14. Mr. Vikram Kapur, Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Corporation of Chennai, Government of Tamil Nadu
  15. Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur, Scientist C & Faculty member of National Institute of Epidemiology
  16. Mr. S. Krishnan, Principal Secretary (Planning, Development & Special Initiatives), Government of Tamil Nadu
  17. Mr. R.M. Senthil Kumar, DGM – Fire & Safety, Hyundai Motor India Ltd
  18. Mr. R. Senthil Kumar, Manager Risk Services, Cholamandalam MS Risk Services
  19. Mr. Rajeev Mecheri, Founder, Mecheri Smart Capital
  20. Mr. Ravishankar Rajaraman, Manager, Safety Group, JP Research India
  21. Mr. S. Rajendran, Additional Director General of Police, State Traffic Planning Cell, Tamil Nadu Police
  22. Mr. T K Rajendran, Additional DGP, Law & Order, Tamil Nadu Police
  23. Dr. Vedantam Rajshekhar, Professor of Neurosurgery; President, Neurological Society of India; President, Indian Society of Neuro Oncology, Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College Hospital
  24. Dr. Gitakrishnan Ramadurai, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Transport engineering Division, IIT Madras
  25. Mr. Rajeev Ranjan, Principal Secretary to Government, Highways and Minor Ports Department, Government of Tamil Nadu
  26. Dr. T. Prabhakara Rao, Principal Secretary/Transport Commissioner, Government of Tamil Nadu
  27. Mr. T.D. Sadasivam, President, Automobile Association of Southern India
  28. Mr. Karuna Sagar, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Tamil Nadu Police
  29. Mr. Kiran S Sheelavantmath, Director – Engineering, Autoliv India Pvt. Ltd
  30. Ms. Satyarupa Shekhar, Researcher at Transparent Chennai, IFMR
  31. Dr. K. Sridhar, Member, Health, Planning Commission, Government of Tamil Nadu
  32. Mr. B. Venkat Subramaniam, Executive Director (Corporate strategy and planning), Ashok Leyland Limited
  33. Mr. Vaidyanathan, Co-Founder, Spinal Care India & The Ganga Trust
  34. Mr. Apurva Varma, Principal Secretary to Government, Home, Prohibition and Excise Department, Government of Tamil Nadu


The regional consultations focused on 10 key issues identified by experts as needing urgent legislative attention. A detailed analysis of existing legislation and the draft law prepared by the Sunder Committee in 2011 revealed specific gaps in Road Safety legislation in India which hindered the enhancement and enforcement of effective safety measures in the country.

The 10 issues deliberated upon were:

  1. Establishment of a national lead agency for cohesive, multilateral coordination
  2. Statutes for safety of cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users (VRU)
  3. Statutes for protection of children during commute
  4. Robust and Scientific Accident Investigation and Data Collection
  5. Stringent punishment for faulty road design and engineering
  6. Transparent, centralized and efficient driver’s licensing system
  7. Mandatory safe driving training for all
  8. Strict regulation of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMV’s)
  9. Stringent punishment for drink-driving and over-speeding
  10. Stringent punishment for violation of helmet and seat-belt laws

A series of questions on each of the aforementioned issues, based on evidentiary data, international best practices and recommendations of earlier committees, were posed to the participants.

Following an introduction to the issue and a brief background, the participants were divided into 3 groups to facilitate detailed discussions under each point. The 3 groups were divided based on the following topics:

Group #1:

Driver Licensing System | Accountability for Faulty Road Design & Engineering | Robust & Scientific Accident Investigation | Establishment of a Lead Agency

Group #2:

Protection of Children during commute | Vulnerable Road Users | Helmet & Seat Belt Laws

Group #3:

Mandatory Driver Training | Heavy Motor Vehicles | Drink Driving & Over Speeding

Following the group discussions, all participants came together to deliberate the recommendations of each group and finalize the overall recommendations under each of the key elements noted above. The recommendations given below are an outcome of these regional deliberations.


Based on the deliberations across the 4 regional meetings, the following are the recommendations on establishing a lead agency: