Unfortunately, India happens to be one of the leading countries in the road accident numbers. With five lakh accidents recorded every year, it has topped the global list. As a matter of fact, we tend to have over 400 deaths on average every day.
To this, Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, while inaugurating the Road Safety Week rally in New Delhi on February 4 stated that his officials are taking necessary measures to address these ever-rising statistics.
Mr. Gadkari admits that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken earnest steps so as to reduce the number of road accidents. These measures include:
- Rectification of accident black spots
- Improved road engineering
- Training of drivers
- Awareness amongst the new generation
Government has been actively working on preventing crashes and fatalities from road accidents. In fact, they have adopted a National Road Safety Policy that outlines various policy measures such as:
- Promote road safety awareness
- Establish a road safety information database
- Encourage safer road infrastructure
- Apply intelligent transport
- Enforce more safety laws
The government has constituted a National Road Safety Council that streamlines the process and takes policy decisions regarding road safety. Moreover, they are also responsible for conducting road safety audits (for selected stretches on national highways).
The Government Approach
The central government has taken upon itself to launch different initiatives that promote awareness amongst people about safe road usage. The government’s primary goal is to make road transport efficient, safe and sustainable, eventually reducing accidents by half.
Furthermore, as a part of a road safety campaign, the government has introduced a dashboard for road accident data. Here, people can easily access related and other information (based on state as well as national averages).
The ministry has also published a set of comic books on road safety, developed by Uber and Amar Chitra Katha, namely Swachha Safar and Surakshit Yatra. It aims to produce needed awareness among children and young adults in a format that relates to them the most.
The government has also launched the third edition of iSAFE – which is a 9-month long championship on road safety issues for schools and college across the country.
To know for sure, whether or not these efforts are making any difference, the government maintains a tab on it all. Overall, it has reduced the total fatal accidents by 0.9 percent.
The Multi-Pronged Approach
Apart from the government, the non-government institutes must also focus on building awareness regarding road safety amongst the people. Road safety is an issue that needs a multi-pronged solution. Some of the major reasons for such a high number of road accidents in India are:
- Bad road user behavior
- Flawed road designs and engineering
- Weak enforcement of traffic laws
- Lack of rapid trauma care
The insurance industry has been actively helping the government promote road safety measures. They are diving deep into several different factors that cause road accidents and are coming up with solutions for road safety.
Not just this, but the insurance providers are encouraging people to take appropriate car insurance. If you do not have car insurance policy under your name, it is highly advisable to seek one as soon as possible. There are many providers that offer online car insurance, which makes an easy way for people to apply for vehicle insurance from the comforts of their home.
In the end, we hope that all these initiatives promote the necessary awareness among people. Thus, in turn, ensuring a lesser number of road accidents in 2019.