|Shri Nitin Gadkari -Union Minister of Road|
Transport & Highways and Shipping
The International Road Federation, (IRF) a Geneva based global body promoting the cause of Road Safety and Sustainable Road Mobility world-wide has expressed concern at increase in number of fatal road accidents in India during the year 2015. About 1,46,133 people died in 501,423 road accidents in 2015, an increase of almost five percent from 2014, while half a million more were injured as per report released by Ministry of Road Transport and Highway’s (MoRTH ) today.
“ More than 10% of the world’s road deaths take place on India’s killer roads — which account for less than 3% of the world’s vehicles. That too when many such incidents are not documented at all. What is more worrying is the sharp rise in road fatalities over the past decade. Lakhs of fatalities and serious injuries on Indian roads could have been saved if recommended road safety actions are adopted and adhered to ” said Mr K .K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF), reacting to today’s MoRTH report released by Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari .
“ India has signed many International agreements on traffic and road safety issues including United Nation’s Decade of Action plan for Road Safety across the world which aims to reduce road fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. India is also signatory to recently adopted ‘The Brasilia Declaration’ by various countries, which recommends the actions that must be taken in order to reach the goals of the Decade and the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. These actions include Stronger road safety management, legislation and enforcement, promotion of safer roads and sustainable modes of transport, protection of vulnerable road users, development and promotion of safer vehicles,increased awareness and capacity of road users, Improvements in post-crash response and rehabilitation services, Strengthened cooperation and coordination towards global road safety, and up scaling of financing for road safety.” Said Mr Kapila .
|Mr K K Kapila Chairman , IRF|
“ However there has been a lack of implementation of proposed actions. What is more worrying is the sharp rise in road fatalities over the past decade. Many developed and even developing countries have scored big wins by making their roads safer. Vision, goal-setting and political will are missing in India. With less than Five years left to meet the UN goal of reducing fatal accidents, a lots need to be done “ he added.
“Road Safety engineering is major part of road safety action world wide, it is lacking in India. Installing appropriate infrastructure to make the roads safer. Road signs, markings and crash barriers should be treated as bare necessities rather than adornments. Simple measures like segregating pedestrians and non-motorised traffic from the main vehicular stream, and ensuring that sidewalks and road shoulders are usable, can bring down the number of injuries significantly.” Said Mr Kapila.
“In India, the responsibility for road safety is dispersed among a range of authorities — from transport and public works to police, home, and health, to name a few — resulting in a piecemeal approach. All the critical elements that have helped other countries tackle the challenge have been incorporated in the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill. But the Bill still has to be passed into law by Parliament. Similarly The Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) Amendment bill is still waiting for Parliament nod .” Said Mr Kapila.
“At 2016, we are in the midst of the ‘’Decade of Action Plan’’ and have a mammoth task of catching up with the target of reducing road fatalities by 50% by 2020. A strong political will, which is beyond party politics and differences of opinion, is the need of the hour. IRF earnestly appeals to all political parties of India to stand united for the cause of road safety and pass the amended MV Act (MVA) in the coming session of the Parliament.”” Kapila added.