New Delhi: Global road safety experts expressing their concern over the growing incidence of fatal road accidents in the country have expressed hope that India will achieve the global target of reducing road accident deaths by 50 Per cent by the year 2030 and take technical road safety measures on all new and existing roads for all road users including pedestrians and vehicles.
“Globally, road accidents account for 1.3 million deaths and 50 million injuries, with many living their lives with permanent disabilities. Of this, India’s contribution to the fatalities is at 11%.To reduce fatal road accidents in India engineers need to design roads that address the needs of all and guide drivers behavior. Steps need to be taken to improve safety of roads infrastructure for both new and existing roads both in the residential areas and highways “ said Mr Bill Halkias, President, International Road Federation (IRF) Geneva while speaking at a webinar on ‘Engineering measures and funding of road safety’ organized by the India chapter International Road Federation,
“Currently, more than 1.35 million people are killed and as many as 50 million people are injured a year, with 90 per cent of those casualties occurring in developing countries. Road crashes are the leading cause of death around the world for children and young people between 15 and 29 years of age.The best solution to reduce fatal road accidents is to develop safer roads with at least 3-5 star safety rating as research has shown that a persons risk of death or serious injury is approximately halved for each incremental rating for star rating “ said Rob Mcinerney, CEO, IRAP International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) while speaking at the webinar.
“Road Safety, though extremely important, has still not been able to attract enough attention in India despite the fact that there have been higher fatalities year on year on account of road accidents than due to COVID 19 pandemic in 2020-21. In India, more than 150,000 people die every year while 500,000 get injured. A significant point to be noted here is that while over 70% fatalities due to road accidents are in the most productive age group of 18 to 45 years, over 60% fatalities due to COVID, were in the age group of over 65 years.” Said Mr Mr Shailash Pathak ,head special initiative, L&T ltd.
“what India needs is a Road safety vaccine on similar lines of Covid19 vaccine. This road accident vaccine should include tougher licensing norms, star rating for drivers, stricter electronic enforcement.We want infrastructure safety star ratings to be published, so that the community better understands the safety of our roads. Just like we know the safety ratings of the cars we drive, we need to know the safety ratings of the roads we are driving on “ said Mr Pathak.
“International Road Federation (IRF) as part of its effort to reduce fatal road accidents in the country has taken up safe road construction projects in seven states including Tamil Nadu,Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan , Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. These roads will be safest roads in the country with minimum accidents and almost no road fatality the most desirable design standards are being selected and implemented . The 5E’s of safe road operation including Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, Education and Emergency care are being fully carried out while construction of the highway is in full swing. “Said Mr K K Kapila, president emeritus of Geneva based International Road Federation (IRF) working worldwide for better and safer roads worldwide.
Others who spoke at the webinar included Mr Konstationos papandreou
CEO & MD management of safety in construction and Maintenance works, South Africa and Dr H.K.reddy Cube highways