KOLKATA: Road safety is an important issue that we need to tackle. The number of young lives lost to road accidents per year is worse than those lost in war, says, General VK Singh (Retd), minister of state, ministry of road transport & highways and civil aviation, at the 6th Road Safety Conference on Safer and Sustainable Mobility with Innovations and Technology conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Addressing the road safety conference, VK Singh said, "Road safety is unfortunately considered something that comes once a year during the road safety week while it is in fact a 365 days affair. The road safety week has been updated to a road safety month because of the stakes involved."
“Road safety can be segmented into the man, the machine, the infrastructure, and the environment. In each segment, there are different requirements. The individual needs to be trained properly, and the values of sensible road behaviour need to be imbibed in the person. If a person is drunk or distracted at the wheel it will lead to an accident. When it comes to the machine, we are catching up to the world and the industry could have been more proactive.”
“In infrastructure and environment the major problem lies in road designs, faulty DPR and we are addressing the issue. In the MoRTH, powers have been delegated to ground-level officials for faster resolution of problems. Road safety education has been confined to a few schools and some conferences which often does not percolate. A major effort is needed to educate people and must begin when one is still a kid. People must also understand why rules are being framed and penalties are increased. Technology is improving and we must use it gainfully not only to monitor traffic but also to find issues and solutions to improve road safety. Road safety must adopt mission mode and has to become Jan Bhagirdari.” the minister added.
Mr KK Kapila, president Emeritus, International Road Federation said, “I have made road safety my life’s mission. It is my personal vow to reduce road accident fatality in India by 50% by 2025. In 2010, a meeting of transport ministers from around the world was held in Moscow, where a decade of the action plan was passed to reduce road accidents and fatalities in the world by 50% by the end of 2020. While we missed the target we gained a better understanding of how to address road safety."
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