Governance

Govt Raises Safety Standards for NH

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To prevent road accidents, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has initiated a number of steps to keep the citizens safe and adding one more feather to their cap, the government has approved a National Road Safety Policy that outlines various measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure including application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws etc.

The National Road Safety Council has been constituted by the government which acts as the apex body to take policy decisions in matters of road safety. To further it’s execution, the ministry has requested all States/UTs for setting up of State Road Safety Council and District Road Safety Committees to hold their meetings regularly, said an official statement of the ministry to the parliament.

A multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety has been formulated as per the direction of the ministry, which is based on 4 ‘E’s viz. Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency Care, the statement said.

Road safety has been made an integral part of road design at planning stage. The ministry is setting up a model driving training institutes in states and refresher training to drivers of heavy motor vehicle in the unorganised sector.

The ministry is also looking at organising advocacy/publicity campaign on road safety through the electronic and print media. Tightening of safety standards for vehicles like seat belts, power-steering, anti-lock braking system etc. has been the made mandatory to reduce the number of accidents.

According to the statement, the ministry is also providing cranes and ambulances to various state governments under the National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme for deployment on National Highways. National Highways Authority of India also provides ambulances at a distance of 50 Km on each of its completed stretches of National Highways under its operation and maintenance contracts.

The ministry has also initiated the launch of pilot projects for providing cashless treatment of road accident victims on Gurgaon – Jaipur, Vadodara – Mumbai stretch of National Highways No. 8 and Ranchi – Rargaon – Mahulia stretch of National Highway No. 33.

As per the Global Status Report 2015 on Road Safety, released by  World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of road fatalities in India during the year 2013, were 1,37,572. Persons killed in road accidents in terms of road user category have been reported as under:

 Road user Persons killed.
Drivers 4-wheeled cars and light vehicles 7%
Passengers 4-wheeled cars and light   vehicles 10%
Riders motorized 2- or 3-wheelers 34%
Cyclists 4%
Pedestrians 9%
Drivers/passengers heavy trucks 13%
Drivers/passengers buses 7%
Other 16%

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has been impressing from time to time to road authorities to comply with road safety norms during design, construction and operation of roads including National Highways.

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