All auto-rickshaw and truck drivers should be trained so that they can provide first aid to people injured in road accidents, Fernandes said at the concluding session of the 25th National Road Safety Week, jointly organized by his ministry and the International Road Federation.

"Auto drivers should be trained and motivated to help accident victims," he said. Fernandes said several efforts are being made to change the Motor Vehicle Act for the safety of road users.

"Full efforts will be made to get the Motor Vehicle Act Amendment bill passed in the coming parliament session as it has already been cleared by the Rajya Sabha," he said.

Enforcement of a comprehensive and clear legislation with appropriate penalties, accompanied by public awareness of laws was a critical factor in reducing road traffic injuries and deaths, he said.

“The bill when cleared and when it becomes effective will help in strengthening road safety legislation. The bill will also play an important role in making India's roads safer as fatalities were exceptionally high. Over 1.38 lakh people were killed in 4.9 lakh road accidents in 2012,” he said.

"Once the bill is passed, traffic violators will have to cough up hefty penalties - almost 10 times more than what they pay now - for offences such as over speeding and drunken driving," he added.

The bill seeks to increase compensation for death resulting from a hit-and-run accident to Rs.1 lakh and for any injured person to Rs 50,000. Launching a new logo on road safety, Fernandes said the theme of this year's road safety awareness was "when on road, always say pehle aap (you first)".

He also gave away trophies from the ministry to state transport undertakings. Delhi Transport Corporation bagged the trophy for road safety for urban services. The other winning states were Haryana, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Rajasthan.


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