Road safety is a life-threatening public health problem in India. More than 400 Indians die on the roads every single day, in part because the country’s Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill (MVAB) had not been updated in over 30 years. On August 9, 2019, the Indian president signed into law a historic new act to save lives on the country’s roads, one with the potential to dramatically change the life of tens of thousands of Indian families in the years to come.

This bill passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Parliament, a testament to the high priority placed on road safety by local leaders. India has more road crash deaths than any other country in the world, and the new version of this legislation—updated to meet the needs of modern India—will be a vital ingredient in bringing down this devastating statistic.

The new act introduces reforms to protect children and vulnerable road users and updates enforcement to match global best practices.

As a member of the global road safety community, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator is proud to congratulate India on this historic achievement. India has shown significant leadership in advancing road safety policy change.

In the months and years to come, localities, cities and states within India will have the opportunity to implement this critical new law in order to save the most lives in their communities. Road safety policy change is a public health solution that can make a tremendous difference in reducing deaths and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic deaths reached 1.35 million globally in 2018, making them the leading cause of death for people aged 5-29 years.

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