Global Conference on Traffic Safety
Global Conference on Traffic Safety was recently held in Brazil where the government’s commitment for road safety was highlighted as follows
- The Government of India is committed to improving safety, efficiency and sustainability in the transport sector and believes that only a safe system can be sustainable in the long run
- India fully endorses the “Safe System Approach” being advocated by the United Nations
- This approach is even more relevant in India, as the problem of safety is also a problem of social equity; here, pedestrians, cyclists and motorized two wheelers compete for space on the road with automobiles, and are most often at the receiving end
- Based on the five pillars of road safety, a variety of approaches are being used to tackle the causes, including improvement of institutional and statutory framework, infrastructure and vehicles, enforcement of traffic regulations and emergency care.
Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014
- A recent bill on road safety also envisaged creation of a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Authority as the lead agency for vehicle regulation and road safety.
- The proposed Bill also envisages the modernisation of road transport infrastructure in India. It aims to improve the quality of vehicles on the roads, especially with regard to safety and emissions.
- It seeks to usher in a regime, of computerized, corruption free and transparent transport authorities, both at the national and state levels, to remove obstacles and inconvenience from the path of road users, in obtaining driving licence, registration, payment of taxes, permits etc. and to promote good driving skills.
- The Government is also looking at improving urban planning and transport system for developing cities which are greener and safer. These cities will be looking at a more integrated urban environment which reduces travel needs.
- This is expected to reduce fossil energy requirements and also exposure to travel risks.
- The Government is looking at setting up 100 such smart cities in the first phase.
- With the realisation that the Government alone cannot ensure the achievement of a safe transport system and cooperation of all stakeholders is required, the govt is working towards making road safety a social movement.
- Issues related to road safety have also been included in the school curriculum.
- Road safety has also been included as an activity that can be taken up under the corporate social responsibility.
- To encourage investment in activities for improving road safety, the Government has also announced concessions in income tax also.
- To achieve the goals set under the UN Decade of Action of reducing road accidents by 50% by 2020. Concerted efforts are being done with the International Road Federation (IRF), WHO and World Bank who are assisting by way of strengthening the capabilities of various institutions, enhancing awareness, improving engineering designs for safer roads, improved trauma care and host of related activities.
- Entire South Asian region has a unique issue to deal with – a large proportion of fatalities and injuries amongst two-wheeler riders. While India has 72% two wheelers, Vietnam has a maximum of 95% share of two wheelers in the motor vehicle population. The proportion of fatalities related to two wheelers range from 21% to 79%.
- In partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the UNECE and the Institute of Road Traffic Education, India will be hosting the first conference on the subject of two-wheeler safety for countries of the subcontinent as well as those from South East Asia on 18th and 19th Feb, 2016.
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