Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has commented that India is committed to better sustainability, efficiency and safety in the transportation sector and is working towards reducing road accidents by half by 2020.
Addressing a global conference in Brasilia on traffic safety, Gadkari has commented that India supports the Safe System Approach that has been advocated by United Nations and is making synchronized efforts for achieving goals that have been set under UN Decade of Action for reducing road accidents by 50 percent till 2020.
He has issued an official statement that says India is coordinating with World Bank, WHO and International Road Federation who are assisting through strengthening capabilities of different institutions, bettering engineering designs, increasing awareness and improving trauma cause and other allied activities.
The minister has commented that India has the highest number of people killed in road accidents. In 2014, around 1.38 lakh people were killed in 4.9 lakh road accidents. According to Gadkari, the road transport sector had played an important role in propelling the Indian economy in the past couple of decades. However, the country faces severe impacts on road safety levels, with 200 million vehicles on roads and vehicle registration increasing by 10 percent annually.
He has said that a range of approaches based on five pillars of road safety are being utilized for tackling the causes, including better statutory and institutional framework, vehicles, infrastructure, emergency care and traffic regulation enforcement.
The Minister has asked for a full replacement of the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 since taking charge with legislation that comprehensively promotes road safety, particularly among vulnerable road users. At the same time, it promotes development of integrated, seamless and efficient multimodal public transport system.
The bill aims to create a Traffic Management Authority and National Road Safety as lead agency for road safety and vehicle regulation. The proposed bill also views the modernization of road transportation infrastructure in the country. It aims at improving vehicle quality on roads, particularly when it comes to emissions and safety.