Shri Oscar Fernandes, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has called upon all stake holders to rededicate their Road Safety efforts to reduce road fatalities by 50 per cent in next five years. Shri Oscar Fernandes, said this while addressing a conference of stakeholders in Road Safety, here today. He said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, being the nodal Ministry for Road Safety is working closely with all other stakeholders to make a difference in the near future. Expressing concern over 1.38 lakh lives lost in around 4.9 lakh road accidents reported during previous year, Shri Oscar Fernandes said all out efforts are being made to strengthen safety on Indian roads. However, Road Safety responsibility also lies with private agencies, different associations, nongovernmental organizations and individual road users, he added. The Minister said It is necessary for all stakeholders viz. the Government, the corporate houses, Automobiles and Transport Associations, teachers and parents, the Electronic and Print Media, the NGO’s and the Academia, to join hands to collectively address the issues and concerns of road safety so that precious lives can be saved.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, Shri Vijay Chibber, the Secretary, Road Transport & Highways informed that bicycle users happen to be one of the most vulnerable road users, susceptible to the high rate of road accidents. During the year 2012, 6600 cyclists were killed in road accidents. Non-visibility of bicycle rider due to lack of proper reflective devices installed on each and every bicycle is the most critical reasons for the high rate of accidents with motorized vehicles. Cycle by its definition is not a motorized vehicle and the Ministry is not in a position to do much. However, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs have been approached in this respect. Road Safety is a continuous engagement and can be ensured by making it a mass movement programme he added.
Children and youth are among the most vulnerable. The age group (15-24 years) accounted for 32.3 per cent of total road accident casualties during the year 2012. It is the Ministry’s Endeavour to make road safety a social movement in partnership with schools and Universities. Educational institutions can play a very important role in promoting road safety. They can organize road safety activities at school and colleges and create opportunities for students to engage in road safety programmes.
In order to give a boost to emergency care of the accident victims, the Ministry has launched a pilot project for cashless treatment up to Rs. 30,000 for first 48 hours for road accident victims on Gurgaon-Jaipur section of NH 8. Ambulances connected with the control room through GPS having toll-free number 1033 for assistance are stationed to provide treatment while taking the injured to the hospitals.
In order to spread road safety awareness “Road Safety Week” is observed all over the country in the month of January every year. The 25th road safety week was celebrated from 11st January to 17th January 2014. The theme for Road Safety Week this year is “When on the road, always say “Pahle Aap”. The function of the 25th road safety week was held at India International Centre on 16th January 2014. The representatives from various Ministries / Departments, Transport & Police Departments/ Transport Associations/ Vehicle Manufacturers / School & colleges/Media Houses etc. attended the function.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has undertaken the process of finalizing a New Car Assessment Programme in consultation with other Ministries, SIAM and stakeholders. This will be notified shortly and will ensure that all new vehicles which are sold in the country have sufficient safe margins for ensuring structural strength of cars.
To mark 25 years of the Road Safety Week, the Ministry also launched a new logo on road safety with an aim to encourage every section of society to join hands for cohesive action towards making our roads safer.
The Minister also gave away Road Safety Awards to the State Transport organizations for their performance and achievements. The details of awards are-
1. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation – Rs. 2.5 Lakh
(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet above 10,000)
2. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation – Rs. 2.0 Lakh
(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet between 4001 to 10,000)
1. ST Haryana – Rs. 1.5 Lakh
(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet between 1001 to 4,000)
1. Andaman & Nicobar ST – Rs. 1.0 Lakh
(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet upto 1000)
2. Sikkim NT – Rs. 1.5 Lakh
(Winner – Under Hill category)
3. Delhi Transport Corporation (D.T.C.) – Rs. 1.5 Lakh
(Winner – Under Urban category)