Union Minister for Road Transport, Sh. Nitin Gadkari has called for all-round efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that deaths due to road accidents are reduced by 50% by 2025. Terming the situation as alarming, the Minister said we stand at number one position in road accidents in the world, ahead of US and China. He was inaugurating the Webinar series being launched by the International Road Federation, India Chapter, on the theme of “Road Safety Challenges in India & Preparation of an Action Plan” . Some 1.5 lakh people die, and more than 4.5 lakh people are injured in road accidents every year in the country – 415 deaths per day in road accidents. 3.14 per cent of national GDP is the socio-economic loss from these accidents, and 70% of the deaths are in the age group of 18 to 45 years old.
Outlining the efforts taken by his Ministry, Sh. Gadkari said improved engineering, education, enforcement, emergency care services are some of the steps taken to combat the problem. He said the Ministry is working on correcting the more than 5,000 accident black spots identified on the highway network, and more than 40,000 kms of roadway are being audited for safety.
He said the central government has proposed a state support programme to incentivise the states with Rs. 14,000 crores of funds, to improve road safety. Pointing out that road safety in mostly a behavioural issue, the Minister said it requires co-operative federalism to boost co-ordination right from block to taluka level
India is observing the Road Safety Month currently, to build awareness on road safety issues. The 12 Webinar series will cover all aspects of road safety, throughout this year.