Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari has reiterated his Ministry’s commitment for making roads safer for all the road users. He said, it will continue with the efforts to reduce road accident fatalities through engaging larger communities and stakeholders in various awareness activities on road safety to encourage everyone to join hands in making roads safer.Addressing the Road Safety Stakeholders’ Meet in New Delhi today, the Minister called upon the large number of students present in the function to become the brand ambassadors of road safety to bring about the behavioral and transformative change in the youths of the country. He said, youth is the most affected community in the road accidents. Shri Gadkari said, the IRAD project launched by his Ministry will not only enhance the analytical capabilities based on international best practice, but will also help to perform analysis based on collected data for further improvement/corrective measures to be taken at accident spot/accident prone areas by the concerned Road Authority. He said that around 30,000 tablets shall be provided to Police departments of various States/UTs for capturing the accidents related data.Speaking on this occasion, Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh expressed concern at the increasing road accident deaths in the country, saying that the number is far more than the casualties due to natural disasters and terror incidents. He said, it is very painful that nearly 1.5 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents in our country in year 2018, and a lot more got injured. Most of the deaths took place due to over speeding, which has been identified as one of the leading causes behind road accidents resulting in around 97,500 deaths. He said, the trauma of accident not only has financial impact but also impacts victims and their families emotionally and psychologically.Shri Rajnath Singh urged people to make a ‘New Year resolution’ of following safety rules. He appealed to the people to be Good Samaritans instead of mute spectators in helping the victims of road accidents. The Minister called upon youth to use social media, i.e. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to raise awareness about the pressing need of road safety. He stressed that the use of TVs and mobiles in cars or while driving has become a menace, adding that science and technology should be used to save lives.Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh said that Government is taking all necessary steps for improving the engineering of roads, enforcement, improving emergency care and taking up awareness campaigns for citizens.
However, efforts of the Government alone will not suffice and there is a need for the citizens at large to join hands and make road safety a social movement. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken earnest steps for reducing the number of road accidents that include rectification of accident black spots, improved road engineering, training of drivers and awareness generation.Secretary, Road Transport & Highways, Dr Sanjeev Ranjan said that Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 is the most important step towards implementation of multi-pronged strategies across various pillars of road safety that is 4E’s. The Act proposes Strict penalties for traffic violations. It also has provision of cashless treatment of accident victims during the golden hour. He further said that Government is also focusing on strengthening E-governance by creating provision for online driving licenses, and online registration of vehicles. Now the Central Government can make rules for the electronic monitoring and enforcement and States Governments can ensure the same on National Highways, State Highways and in Urban cities to ensure road safety using latest technology. In order to increase the effectiveness, the earlier named “District Road Safety Committee” has been reconstituted as “Member of Parliaments’ Road Safety Committee” to enforce measures and promote awareness among road users. Good Samaritans have been encouraged by protecting them from any civil/criminal action and the recent Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, has given legislative backing to the mandate prescribed by the Supreme Court, and the Guidelines and SOP issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.A road safety pledge was also administered to all present in the function by the Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari and Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. A short film called ‘Rehana’ for creating awareness amongst the road users regarding the Good Samaritan law has also been released on this occasion.Based up on the Road Accident Report 2018 published by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, the State of Tamil Nadu, which has registered maximum reduction in accident related deaths of 3941 in 2018 with respect to 2017 registering a decline 24.4% over the previous year, has been adjudged the Best Performing State in terms of Road safety. Recognising the commendable work done by the State, the Ministers gave away the award of “Best Performing State in Road Safety” to Tamil Nadu which was received by the team from the State led by Shri M.R. Vijayabaskar, Minister for Transport.
On this occasion, MoU documents were exchanged with IIT-BHU on Promoting Road Safety and Research in the Field of Highway Sector. Ten MoUs were also exchanged with IRC and training organizations like IAHE, CRRI, IITs, NITs, NATPAC etc. for imparting 15 days training Course on Road Safety & Safety Audit to highways professionals/engineers. These MoUs will help technological upgradation, introduction of new material/technology, improving Road Safety Engineering, Highway development & Maintenance and Operations, foster culture of industry-academia interaction in Highway sector. This is a unique initiative by the Ministry with the aim to create a pool of well-trained expert & knowledgeable auditors throughout country for Road Safety & Safety Audits of highways.Rajnath Singh and Shri Nitin Gadkari also launched Ministry’s new project called Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD) today, a robust road accident database management system developed and being implemented with the help of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, NIC and supported by World bank. This will enable the States and Centre to comprehend the information related to road accidents, analyses the root cause of road accidents and to develop and implement ‘data-led’ road safety interventions to reduce the accidents. Accidents data is the basis for assessing road safety scenarios and for implementing required interventions to reduce accidents. Accident database is the first step towards achieving scientific road safety management. An ideal database needs to be comprehensive so as to meet not only the statistical requirements but also assist in planning accident reduction measures.This system can collect data across the country on different types of roads i.e. National highways, state highways, city roads etc. IRAD will be a comprehensive web-based IT solution and will enable various agencies such as Police, PWDs, NHAI etc. to enter details on a road accident from different perspectives such as investigation, road engineering, vehicle condition etc.
The details so entered, shall enable various authorities to run different types of analysis and understand the dynamics of road accidents in India and hence help them to launch targeted measures in fields of enforcement, engineering, education and emergency care to improve road safety situation in India.This system shall be first launched in the six States which are having the highest fatalities in terms of road accident related death i.e. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Regional Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia, Transport Commissioners of States, Additional Director Generals of Police of States, Dean (IC&SR) IIT, Madras and DG (NIC) were also present on this occasion.The event is part of the 31st National Road Safety Week being observed from 11th to 17th January 2020 throughout the country to create awareness among general public and specially amongst the youths to improve the safety on road and to give an opportunity to all stakeholders to contribute to the cause of road safety. During the week, awareness about various causes of road accidents and measures to prevent them will be highlighted by organizing various activities with School/college students, drivers and all other road users. These activities include display of banners, walkathons, road signage and pamphlets related to road safety. Various stakeholders such as different departments of State Governments such as Transport, Police, PWD, Health, Education, Municipal Bodies, Vehicle manufacturers and Dealers, Transporters’ Association, Doctors, PSUs, Corporate and various NGOs are participating in the events during the Road Safety Week.The “SWACHHTA PAKHWADA” is also being celebrated from 01st January 2020 to 15th January 2020 under the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” with a vision and mission of a clean India. A short film made by NHAI on the innovative use of waste plastic in road construction, collected on the National Highways and near the Toll Plazas was also shown to the audience. Swachhata Awards were also given today for exemplary performance to Regional offices/ Branch Offices of NHAI/NHIDCL for improving the cause of Sanitation during the Swachhata Pakhwada held during first fortnight of Jan 2019.