Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari reached Stockholm yesterday to represent India at the ‘3rd High Level Global Conference on Road Safety for Achieving Global Goals 2030’.
The objective of the two-day conference is to bring road safety on the global agenda and renew the world community’s commitment to safer roads. Leaders from participating countries will draw up a roadmap for reaching the United Nations’ goal set under the UN Decade of Action of reducing road crashes by 2030.
The conference, a follow up of the 2nd High Level Global Conference on “Traffic Safety-Time of Results’ in 2015 in Brazil, is being organised in active collaboration with World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other agencies who are assisting it by way of strengthening the capabilities of various institutions, enhancing awareness and improving engineering designs for safer roads.
A significant highlight of the conference will be sharing of the expertise by the nations which have gained experience in road safety management with those who are behind in the learning curve. Emphasis will also be on adopting best practices that are emerging in different parts of the world.
Most developing countries, particularly the South Asian and the South East Asian Region, including India, are expected to focus on certain specific issues and challenges facing them on account of a significant number of their motorised vehicles consisting of two-wheelers. In India, a total of 21 million two-wheelers comprising 6.7 million scooters, 13.6 million motorcycles and 880,243 mopeds were sold in FY2019.
A large proportion of fatalities and injuries in these countries are accounted for by that segment of their population which use motorised and also non-motorised two-wheelers. Among the top three vulnerable users of the total number of road crash deaths in India in 2018 (151,417), 36.5 percent of individuals were two-wheeler users, followed by car, taxi, vans and LMVs (16.6%) and pedestrians (15%).
Five years ago, Gadkari had signed the Brasilia Declaration on behalf of India at the 2nd High Level Global Conference on Traffic Safety in 2015, which committed the world community to reducing the number of deaths in road accidents.
The King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf will attend the opening session of the conference where the Stockholm Declaration will be presented by the Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth. Messages from the UN Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Adina-loans Valean & Transport Commissioner, European Commission, Omnia El Omrani will be read out on this occasion.
During his stay in Stockholm, Gadkari will have bilateral dialogue with his Swedish Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Foreign Trade Anna Hallberg, Minister for Business, Industry & Innovation Ibrahim Baylan and also with the British Minister for Road Safety Baroness Vere. Gadkari will also hold talks with the World Bank Vice President (South Asia) Hart Schafer. Also on Gadkari’s itinerary will be a Sweden-India Transportation Safety and Innovation Partnership meeting to be attended a number of CEOs.
Swedish and Indian businesses are likely to exchange several MoUs on this occasion.
The United Nations, which has included Road Safety as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, has appealed to the global community to reaffirm their commitment to reducing mortality arising out of road crashes and join hands for making the world a safer place.
READ MORE Road accidents in India claimed 415 lives, injured 1,286 people each day in 2018