Prime minister Narendra Modi bats for road safety in India

- Published: 29 July 2015
Prime minister Narendra Modi bats for road safety in India

The fast-climbing road accident and fatality rates in the country have caught prime minister Narendra Modi’s attention. In his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, broadcast on July 26, he took up the cause of road safety and the high road accident rates. He said, “Whether it is education relating to road safety, road engineering, enforcing the law, or providing emergency care to those injured in an accident, we are going to bring a road safety and transport bill keeping all these points in mind.” The prime minister added that the government would look to implement a national Road Safety Policy and Road Safety Action Plan. He also said that a programme to provide immediate cashless treatment to accident victims will be worked upon. Rising road accidents in India It would not be wrong to say that every rural or urban Indian citizen, in his/her circle of family, friends or even acquaintances, would know of at least one person who has died in a road accident. Road accidents are turning out to be one of the major contributors to the loss of lives in developing nations, and India, as reports point out, tops that list. The World Health Organisation, which has termed the ongoing decade (2011-2020) as the decade of action for road safety, had come out with key findings in its report titled ‘Saving millions of lives’ in the past. This report highlighted that road traffic crashes take the lives of nearly 1.3 million people globally every year, and injure 20-50 million more. It points out that while this has become a leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 years, over 90 percent of road traffic accidents and injuries occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have only 48 percent of the world’s registered vehicle population. “In addition to the grief and suffering they cause, road traffic crashes result in considerable economic losses to victims, their families, and nations as a whole, costing most countries 1-3 percent of their gross national product (GNP). While without action, road traffic crashes are predicted to result in the deaths of around 1.9 million people annually by 2020, only 15 percent of all countries in the world have comprehensive laws relating to the five key risks – speeding, drinking and driving, non-use of helmets and seat belts and child restraints,” quotes the WHO report. In India’s context, a recently released report on accidental deaths and suicides in India (for the year 2014) by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, points out that a total number of 481,805 traffic accidents comprising of 450,898 road accidents, 28,360 railway accidents and 2,547 railway crossing accidents were reported during 2014. These accidents together caused 141,526, 25,006 and 2,575 deaths respectively last year. “Road transport is vital to India’s economy as it contributes nearly 4.8 percent share towards the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). For the first time an effort has been made by the Bureau to capture a comprehensive data on road accidents using revised proformae,” the report says. Revealing the 2014 statistics, it mentions that while the road accident cases in the country have increased by 1.8 percent in 2014 (450,898 cases) as compared to 2013 (443,001 cases), the fatalities in road accidents have gone up by 2.9 percent during 2014. The 450,898 road accidents that were recorded last year caused 141,526 deaths including deaths of 34,252 offending drivers and pedestrians. - See more at: http://www.autocarpro.in/news-national/prime-minister-modi-pushes-road-safety-mann-ki-baat-8946#sthash.2L5XATEl.dpuf

Source: autocarpro.in