Government to cut down deaths in Road accidents by half

[tps_header]A letter to the finance ministry written by the Road Transport and Highway Minster Nitin Gadkari states that deaths in road accidents lead to a loss of 2-3% of the GDP every year.[/tps_header]

The Modi Government has prioritized the development of roads and its safety in the entire nation. The Government has implemented a number of policies regarding the same. The development of roads and the safety that has to be offered with it are given equal importance.  One such safety plan is being drafted by the Government that will cut down the deaths in road accidents by half. The Government in accordance with this plan will shortly announce new two-wheeler safety norms. It is also partnering with the International Road Federation (IRF), World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank to improve the engineering design of the roads which will make them safer.

India has the highest number of deaths in road accidents. One person dies in a road accident every 4 minutes. That means, by the time you finish reading this article one more person will lose his life. Around 1,37,000 people died last year and 3,00,000 were crippled  due to five lakh road accidents. The main reason behind these deaths are unsafe roads and we, the citizens neglecting traffic rules.

“We are working on a national action plan to reduce the number of roads death. The plan will include new safety norms and tying up with international bodies to work on road designs as maximum number of accidents are caused due to bad road designs,” a road transport and highways ministry official told ET.

Two wheelers are more unsafe than other vehicles as we are open to the impact from all sides and India has around 72% of its automobiles in the form of two wheelers which are involved in more than half of road accidents. Hence, the new action plan will set special safety norms for two wheelers. According to the upcoming safety norms, all the two wheelers will have automatic headlamps on (AHO) like the Daytime running lights in cars, the two wheelers are proposed to be fitted with a sound device that can alert people around about a road accident. The horn automatically starts honking when the two wheeler is involved in a road accident. The western countries have used this technique to reduce the number of deaths in road accidents significantly.

India will announce this plan and its goals at the upcoming United Nations led road safety conference to be held at Rio. “In West, A1 and A2 licence holders are allowed to ride motorcycles with a certain power output only, whereas in India a driving licence holder can ride any motorcycle or superbike. That also increases chances of accidents. We need to regulate this as well,” the official said.

Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highway Minister, has stated that the deaths in road accidents lead to a loss of 2-3% of GDP every year. His ministry is also working on a law that will impose fines and penalties on companies that design the roads wrongly for cost saving. The action plan will also include provisions for funds for the treatment of victims of such accidents. It will also make provision for people who take the victims to the hospital. They will not be detained by the hospital authority like the current system and the hospital private or public cannot ask for fees from them unless they family. Violation of these norms will be considered to be a punishable offence.

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