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Provide physical & visually disabled easier access, make buses differently-abled friendly: Govt

For the convenience of the differently-abled, the government has asked states to ensure that buses are adequately equipped with user-friendly features. “Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has directed all states to have 10% of the total fleet of buses to be equipped with disabled friendly features to provide people with physical and visual disabilities easier access,” industry body Assocham said in a statement today quoting Joint Secretary, MoRTH Abhay Damle.

Addressing a conference on ‘Safe road-safe Life’, Damle said majority of people with disabilities are mostly apprehensive of using public transport as presently state owned and private buses are not equipped and do not meet the requirement of people with special needs. “State transport authorities have been asked to acquire and equip buses designed to enable people with disabilities to board and disembark without having to be assisted,” the statement said quoting him.

It said that Ministry has also issued advisory to State transport departments to issue driving licenses to the differently abled clearing all normal driving tests and formalities. “A person without both the hands has been issued a driving license in Indore recently. Moreover, the state transport and Motor Vehicle registration authorities in the country have been asked to immediately register vehicles modified by the disabled without and certificate from the vehicle manufacturer,” said Damle.

Regarding motor vehicle safety, Indian cars presently being manufactured are quite safe, the official said and that more stress should be given on two wheeler safety by vehicle manufacturers as 80% of the vehicles in the country are two wheelers. India is signatory to UN Decade of Action for reducing fatal road accidents by 50% by the year 2020 , but road accident deaths are on the rise with about 1.5 lakh deaths in crashes every year.

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