Road Safety Month 2021: From creating public awareness to hosting seminars, how govt plans to secure roadways

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Road Safety Week is observed from 11 January to 17th January every year and aims at making the roads and streets in India safer. During the one-week observance, the government spreads awareness about how to avoid accidents and injuries while on the road.

According to an official notification by the Government of India, Ministry of Transport and Highways, the ministry has decided to observe Road Safety Month from 18 January to 17 February 2021 instead of National Road Safety Week. Accordingly, during this period, various nation-wide activities have been planned to be conducted throughout the country in association with the state governments/ UT administrations, OEMs and other stakeholders.

The month-long event will see awards being given to best performance in road safety to a state as well as Swacchta Award, road safety activities by NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited), HOAI (Highway Operator Association of India), NHAI among others.

Usually, during the Road Safety Week, police forces working for street safety make people aware of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 and Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill of 2019. This is done through various seminars, workshops, events and meetings. Officials also make use of banners and pamphlets to spread awareness about traffic rules and regulations set by the government.

The original Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 was amended in 2019 based on the multiple recommendations of the Group of Transport Ministers of State. It started with increasing the fines levied on rule flouters to extending period of driving license renewals and providing emergency medical aid to those involved in road accidents.

The various activities that are slated to take place during National Road Safety Month 2021 include advocacy of road safety, road safety awards, launch of digital road safety calendar 2021, selection of best performing states and UTS for road safety 2021, awards and certificates for road safety, good samaritans etc, and National Highways Excellency Awards.

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