New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has said that India is exploring an agreement with South Korea for the introduction of Highways Information System in the country. This would be developed on lines of the system run by the Express Highways Information Corporation of South Korea, with integrated monitoring of a highway at a centralized control room.
Inaugurating the 29th National Road Safety Week in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan today, the Minister spelt out the ministry’s priorities in ensuring the safety of road users in the country. He informed that he has fixed a target of bringing down the number of road fatalities to half from the around 1.5 lakh accidental deaths reported when he took over. Shri Gadkari said, though progress has been achieved in this respect, he is still not satisfied and aspires to keep working in this direction.
The Ministry organizes the Road Safety Week every year to create awareness among general public and improve the safety of road users. This year, Road Safety Week is being organized from 23rd to 29th of April and the focus is on schools and commercial drivers. Addressing the participants Shri Gadkari requested that every student is made a road safety ambassador for his family and for the society. Various activities have been organized for school/college students, drivers and all road users.
The Minister gave away awards to fifteen school children who won the national level essay competition on road safety. The top three winners were given cash prizes of Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 and a certificate each. Shri Gadkari also administered the road safety pledge to all those present on the occasion.
Outlining the initiatives and steps taken to improve vehicle safety and overall road safety, the Minister said his ministry has adopted the 4E principles of Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency care to address the problem of road safety. For ensuring vehicular safety, the standards of buses have been upgraded, airbags and speed alert device have been made mandatory for all cars, and every two-wheeler will have ABS to avoid skidding. He said, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, passed by Lok Sabha is waiting to be cleared by Rajya Sabha. This bill comprehensively promotes safety on the road. It would also promote the development of an efficient, seamless and integrated multi-mode public transport system.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has launched a scheme for setting up of Driving Training Centre to provide quality training to commercial vehicle drivers, improve road and environment safety and strengthen overall mobility on roads. 789 road accident black spots have been identified on NHs of which 139 black spots are rectified, work on 233 black spots are awarded and in progress. Ministry had issued guidelines for taking up of Road Safety Audits on National Highways either as part of all new projects. Detailed Road Safety Audits in a length of 610 km have been sanctioned on National Highways in last two years. Installation of crash barriers at accident-prone locations on National Highways in Hilly Terrain has been sanctioned in a length of 183 Km at a cost of Rs 108.25 crore.
Shri Gadkari also released a paper on road safety by Indian Road Safety Campaign. IRSC is a youth-led national mission promoting road safety, led by students and alumni of IIT Delhi. It is currently working on creating awareness on road safety, developing technologies, simplifying laws and improving the post-accident emergency care system. IRSC organizes an annual road safety championship called as the Safer India Challenge in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and various state policies involving the youth to come up with innovations in this area. The Safer India Challenge’18 was launched on the occasion. In addition to this, the Minister also released a short story collection on road safety theme entitled “Have a safe journey”