Gadkari acknowledges stakeholder failure to curb road accidents, aims 50% reduction by 2030

Speaking at the launch of a joint study - Road Safety Good Practices in India - the Union Minister acknowledged the all-stakeholder failure to curb road accidents that registered a 10% growth, and fatalities which grew by 12% in CY22.

By Mayank Dhingra calendar 11 Dec 2023 Views icon4362 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Gadkari acknowledges stakeholder failure to curb road accidents, aims 50% reduction by 2030

The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Nitin Gadkari acknowledged that there has been little progress in reducing road accidents and fatalities in India, which continues to be amongst the top-ranking countries with over 443,366 road accidents, claiming 155,781 lives on its roads in CY22.

“It is saddening that despite our intensive efforts, road accidents in India continue to rise, and take away 19 lives every hour. In CY22, road accidents have increased by 10 percent, and fatalities by 12 percent, and therefore, it is a serious issue that causes a huge socio-economic loss to the country,” Gadkari said while speaking at an event in New Delhi to launch a joint study - Road Safety Good Practices in India.

“The kind of awareness needed to reduce road accidents has still not been achieved, and therefore, there is strong need to drive such education initiatives, particularly targeting the younger generation by spreading awareness right from schools by leveraging effective training and course curriculums,” said Gadkari.

“Road safety requires all-encompassing collaboration between the Centre and States, and without the support from society - NGOs, social organisations, schools and colleges - must come together to drive the idea of road safety and reduce accidents in the country,” he added. 

“Road- and automobile engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency care are the key pillars of road safety, and while we have made everything possible to improve automobile engineering and equip vehicles with all safety technologies, including airbags, and ABS, there is a need to sensitise citizens and propel them to abide by the law.”

While the government’s initial target was to cut down road accidents to half by 2024, given the slow pace of progress, “We must take road safety more seriously and achieve our target of reducing road accidents by 50 percent by 2030,” Gadkari outlined.

Road Safety Best Practices in India

The study titled - ‘Road Safety Good Practices in India’ – was conducted by SaveLIFE Foundation, in association with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and World Bank Group to understand the effectiveness of corridor-based road safety best practices in the country. The report outlines a blueprint to half the number of road fatalities in India by showcasing the success stories of interventions that have contributed to a measurable and significant reduction in road crash fatalities on target road corridors across the country.

Interventions deployed at key locations such as the old Mumbai-Pune highway (NH-48) under its Zero Fatality Corridor (ZFC) project, as well as the Belgaum-Yargatti highway’s Safe Corridor Demonstration Project (SCDP) in Karnataka, along with the Sabrimala Safe Zone, have been highlighted in the study to demonstrate best practices for other States.

While the Mumbai-Pune ZFC corridor reduced fatalities by 61 percent between 2018 and 2021, the SCDP registered a notable 54 percent reduction in road deaths over a three-year period between 2015 and 2018. The Sabrimala Safe Zone is claimed to have maintained zero road crash deaths between 2019 and 2021. 

The report involved contributions from all stakeholders, including the Police, Transport, and Health departments among others, from all 28 States and 8 Union Territories across India, and categorises interventions as corridor-based, policy-based, and state-based initiatives, therefore, covering several interventions across key States.

Furthermore, secondary research was also conducted to understand the national road safety landscape to locate the promising road safety endeavours, and supplement the data shared by States. The report also suggests that data-driven evidence, institutional strengthening and public-private partnerships, are key drivers of enhancing road safety in these geographies, and suggests the need to replicate the best practices in other vulnerable road areas and carry proper research.

According to Piyush Tewari, Founder & CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation, “While we have been talking about the various facets of the road safety problem, we have not been looking at the measures that contribute to the reduction in road accidents.

“This study captures some of the best practices from across the country, and the idea is to offer it as a guidebook for enforcers to implement in their respective jurisdictions. While we have been able to shortlist 13 key case studies which have tangebly and visibly contributed to a significant reduction of road accidents, we will continue to keep compiling more such effective case studies,” Tewari added.

To download the Road Safety Good Practices in India report: Click Here.

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