Nitin Gadkari reiterates need for active political action to enhance road safety

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 19 Feb 2020

Sweden is hosting the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. The Stockholm Declaration on #RoadSafety is adopted with consensus on the call for a 50 percent reduction in road deaths by 2030 and a high level meeting of heads of state to ensure active role of political leadership. Speaking at the conference representatives from across the world including India’s Minister for Road Transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari highlighted the need for collective responsibility of government authorities towards road safety and target setting for better accountability.

The theme of the conference is ‘Achieving Global Goals 2030’. Given the momentum generated by the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, the landscape of global road safety has changed to a large extent. Greater political engagement has been demonstrated by the inclusion of road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals and the adoption of the Global Road Safety Performance Targets by Member States in 2017.

India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari elaborated on the concept that drove the new Motor Vehicle Act in India: “The Act is based on 4Es – Enforcement, Engineering, Emergency, Education.” Explaining the importance of each ‘E’, he broadly outlined the steps being taken to achieve the theme of this conference, Global Goals 2030. “Therefore, the need to identify the blackspots is important and our priority. We are creating awareness in the mind of the people. It is easy to enforce with the help of the new Act. We are trying our level best to achieve the target.”

The event is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and minister-led delegations from more than 80 countries are attending along with participation from representatives of industry and research, international institutions and organisations. Etienne Krug, Director - Department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organisation said: “More than 50 million people have died in road transport so far since the invention of today’s road transport system. Strengthening accountability and data collection is important. Building international collaboration and action is important but key is success at national and local level. My sincere hope is to move towards improving our approach towards transport and mobility. Need to move towards sustainable mobility."