Why India’s Road Safety Campaigners Welcome Lower Penalties For Speeding, Drunk Driving – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s roads ministry has dialed back plans to toughen punishments for traffic offenses including causing the death of a child in an accident and driving while drunk.

It’s a u-turn you might expect road safety campaigners to denounce.

But activists fighting to reduce fatalities on the world’s most treacherous roads say softening the penalties in the latest draft of the Road Transport and Safety Bill could make the roads safer.

Rohit Baluja, president of the New Delhi-based Institute of Road Traffic Education, said lighter punishments for traffic violations are more likely to be enforced by authorities.

“There is a need for development of infrastructure like more accurate breathalyzers and better training of police,” before stiffer fines are introduced, he added.

India has the world’s deadliest roads: More than 130,000 people were killed on its byways last year. In 2006, the country overtook China as the single-largest contributor to the global number of road deaths.

via Why India’s Road Safety Campaigners Welcome Lower Penalties For Speeding, Drunk Driving – India Real Time – WSJ.

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