MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS’ 2020

  • According to the latest Lancet Study, steps to check speeding can save 20,000 lives annually in India.
  • Interventions focusing on four key risk factors such as speeding, drunk driving, non-use of crash helmets and seatbelts could prevent 25% to 40% of 13.5 lakh fatal road injuries worldwide every year.
  • According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ 2020 report there were a total of 1,31,714 deaths due to road accidents in India.
  • Speeding accounted for 69.3% of deaths.
  • Non-wearing of helmets resulted in 30.1% deaths.
  • Non-use of seatbelts caused 11.5% of deaths.
  • Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) are the eighth leading cause of death globally for all ages and the first cause in the 5-29 years age group.
  • India accounts for almost 10% of all crash-related deaths, while accounting for only 1% of the world’s vehicles.

Significance of Road Safety in India

  • Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in India, in terms of traffic share and in terms of contribution to the national economy.
  • To meet the demand for road transport, the number of vehicles and the length of road network have increased over the years.
  • A negative externality of expansion in road network, motorization and urbanisation in the country is the increase in road accidents and road crash fatalities.

Causes:

  • Pathetic conditions of roads and vehicles, poor visibility and poor road design and engineering – including quality of material and construction, especially a single-lane with a sharp curve.
  • Over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tiredness or riding without a helmet, driving without seatbelts.
  • Talking over mobile phones while driving has become a major cause of road accidents.
  • To save on the cost of transportation.

Initiatives Related to Road Safety

Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety (2015):

  • The declaration was signed at the second Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety held in Brazil. India is a signatory to the Declaration.
  • The countries plan to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 i.e. to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030.

Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030:

  • The UN General Assembly adopted resolution “Improving global road safety ” with the ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
  • The Global Plan aligns with the Stockholm Declaration, by emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to road safety.
  • The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) :
  • It is a registered charity dedicated to saving lives through safer roads.

India:

Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019:

  • The Act hikes the penalties for traffic violations, defective vehicles, juvenile driving, etc.
  • It provides for a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, which would provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents.
  • It also provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the Central Government.

The Carriage by Road Act, 2007:

The Act provides for the regulation of common carriers, limiting their liability and declaration of value of goods delivered to them to determine their liability for loss of, or damage to, such goods occasioned by the negligence or criminal acts of themselves, their servants or agents and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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