Autoliv Inc, the global leader in vehicle safety systems, has released a series of recommendations to improve road safety in India. The recommendations have been developed in cooperation with the Indian government, local authorities, and stakeholders.
India has one of the largest road networks in the world with approximately 5.6 million kilometres of roads. These roads are, however, among the most accident-prone. The Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways reported in 2017 that 147,000 people died on the roads of India. A large proportion of these fatalities affect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. 10% of all fatalities were pedestrians and 40% riders of two or three-wheelers including bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles.
In 2018, road accidents in India claimed 415 lives and injured 1,286 people on each day of the year. The data for 2018 indicates that the country witnessed 467,044 accidents (+0.46%), which claimed 151,417 lives (+2.37%) and injured 469,418 (-0.33%) individuals, which translates into 415 people not returning home each day. It also means that 17 lives were lost and 53 injured every hour across India.
Working in conjunction with stakeholders
The work Autoliv has done with the commitment to saving lives in India is well anchored in the 'Road safety knowledge sharing platform' that has been run with relevant Indian stakeholders since 2018. The stakeholders include government bodies, industry and academia, ensuring the triple helix impact. The learnings and conclusions drawn from the Joint Working Group meetings have now been finalised in a report with recommendations to elevate road safety in India and reduce the number of fatalities and accidents.
"As the Minister of Road Transport and Highways for India, I appreciate and acknowledge the good work Autoliv has done together with very relevant stakeholders. I am glad to accept the report that is a result of the Road Safety Knowledge Sharing Platform. We will review the report and look for opportunities to implement the recommendations," said Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is in Stockholm for the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.
Autoliv has 65 years of research and production experience in developing solutions to improve safety on the world's roads. It also has a substantial business presence in India. Autoliv launched operations in India in 1994 and Autoliv India is one of Autoliv's major subsidiaries. Based on this, and in support of the United Nations' '2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development', Autoliv initiated the launch of the 'Road Safety Knowledge Sharing Platform' in 2018.
"As part of the initiative, the Joint Working Group was formed with representatives from the Indian government, Indian academia, the Indian automotive industry and Autoliv. Influenced and inspired by the Swedish 'Vision Zero' approach, we conducted a series of joint working group meetings in 2018-2019. The objective is to establish a forum to influence the road safety development in India in a positive and sustainable way with the goal to contribute to saving more lives in an increasingly mobile Indian traffic environment," said Cecilia Sunnevång, Autoliv Vice-President of Research.
The result of the Joint Working Group's work is a series of conclusions and recommendations described and summarized in the Autoliv report 'Road safety in India. Joint Working Group Recommendations', agreed upon by ACMA, ARAI, NATRIP, IIT Delhi and SIAM.
The report was presented to Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways on February 17, 2020, at the Autoliv headquarters in association with the United Nations 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden.
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Road accidents in India claimed 415 lives, injured 1,286 people each day in 2018