India has the highest number of road crash deaths in the world, as a direct result of the almost complete lack of regulation and inefficacy of the existing laws and regulations pertaining to road safety, particularly with respect to vehicles that are stationary, or stalled on streets, Highways and Expressways; and vehicles transporting iron rods, angles, pipes, poles and other construction material, which protrude outside the body of the vehicle.
To address these deficiencies and gaps in the principal legislations around road safety in India - the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 - SLF filed a Writ Petition in 2013 for the enforcement of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. These rights include ensuring safety on roads so that lives are not imperilled by obstructive stalled and stationary vehicles, or vehicles carrying protruding construction material.
In 2013, SaveLIFE Foundation filed a petition (Writ Petition 427 of 2013 – SaveLIFE Foundation & Anr. versus Union of India & Anr) before the Supreme Court in order to:
9,087 people were killed in road crashes that were caused due to collision with vehicles carrying protruding rods and load.
Ironically, the proviso to Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, allowed the goods carriage to carry poles/rods or indivisible load protruding till a distance of one metre beyond the rear most point of the motor vehicle. In its PIL, SLF sought omission of the proviso to Rule 93(8) of CMVR.
Based on SLF's PIL, the Government of India, on March 5th 2014, issued a notification striking down the proviso in Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 thereby putting a ban on vehicles carrying protruding rods or protruding load.
SLF has taken this initiative to prevent such trucks from causing further road crash deaths and injuries in India.
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In 2015, 4,124 people were killed and 12,800 people were injured in 13, 292 road crashes due to collision with stationary vehicles.
The existing legislation and enforcement is inadequate to address the problem of stalled/stationary vehicles. The necessity of addressing these issues has become compelling on account of large number of road crashes as well as fatalities.
In its PIL, SLF has sought directions to the government to adopt uniform regulations, particularly with respect to stationary or stalled vehicles on highways and expressways.