The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the government is committed to reduce the number of road accidents by 50 percent in the next two years and is employing various measures to achieve this objective. These measures are geared to tackle the problem through a multi-pronged strategy which include effective road engineering solutions at the design stage, rectification of accident black spots, improvement in automobile engineering, driver education, revision and effective enforcement of laws. Shri Gadkari was speaking at the one day national level workshop on Road Safety Engineering Measures organised by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in New Delhi today. Speaking about the importance of road engineering in preventing accidents and the resultant loss of lives, the Minister said that simple and well thought out designs like the height of road dividers, placement of over-bridges and underpasses at appropriate places or the placement and design of speed breakers can often be very effective in ensuring safety on roads. Shri Gadkari called upon all Project Directors and Regional Officers of Highway Projects to adopt a sensitive, sensible, time-bound and result oriented approach to tackle the problem of road accidents and take up the work of rectification of accident Black Spots in mission mode. He also called upon all highway engineers to ensure that sound engineering solutions are put in place at the design stage of the highway itself.
Stressing the importance of proactive measures the Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways Shri Mansukh L Mandaviya said that local problems of a highway site should be taken into account when preparing the DPR for a highway project. Giving the example of frequent landslides in the North Eastern and hilly states, Shri Mandavia said that appropriate solutions should be built into the road designs at the DPR stage. He also emphasized the importance of developing indigenous technology in this area and said that long term vision and initiative are keys to tackling the problem. The workshop was organised by the Road Safety Cell of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Road safety engineering experts from different parts of the country, highway engineers of all states and UTs, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, NHAI, NHIDCL and other central and state organizations participated in the workshop. Various experts gave presentations on issues like Policy Initiatives and Challenges, Design Considerations for Safe Merging and Diverging sections, Highway Safety in India, Design for Safety. Many manufacturers and suppliers of road safety engineering products also exhibited their products at the venue.