In Next Two Years, India’s Road Infrastructure Will Match That Of US And Germany: Nitin Gadkari
- Nitin Gadkari said that nearly 5 lakh road accidents took place in 2017
- Mr Gadkari requested Rajya Sabha MPs to pass Motor Vehicle Bill on priority
- Deaths on roads could have been lower if bill was passed: Nitin Gadkari
New Delhi: India has one of the most dangerous roads in the world where nearly 5 lakhs (4,80,652) road accidents took place in 2017, resulting in over 1.5 lakh deaths (1,50,785) and seriously injuring nearly 5 lakh people (4,94,624). In an exclusive interview to NDTV on the occasion of Road Safety Week, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari expressed concern over the staggering number of Indians getting killed on the roads and acknowledged that the delay in the passage of the Motor Vehicle Bill in Rajya Sabha is unfortunate. Acknowledging the problems that persist the Minister said, “There are lapses at government level and as Minister of Road Transport and Highways, I don’t want to hide it rather I want people to highlight the road safety concerns so government can fix those on priority. The government is already working hard to improve not just the road infrastructure in the country but also to create awareness among motorists to adopt road safety measures.” The minister also highlighted the various steps being taken by the government to fix the black spots, encourage safer road infrastructure, enforcement of Good Samaritan law, saving road crash victims and to promote road safety awareness. He even urged all stakeholders – government, corporates and individuals – to come together and bring down the number of people dying in road accidents.
Here are 10 things that Mr Gadkari said about how to make India’s roads safer:
1). “Appeal all Rajya Sabha MPs to pass the Motor Vehicle Bill…expect it to be passed in the next Session, if the bill is not passed then may be an ordinance can be introduced”
2). “As a transport minister I acknowledge that there are a lot of mistakes in the road engineering which leads to road accidents. 1.5 lakh people die because of road accidents every year.”
3). “We are working on various multi-pronged road safety programs and initiatives which include awareness, education and road engineering measures as well. For example, the ministry has identified 786 high-risk black spots on highways and roads across the country. We have also bought 800 ambulances for areas where we have identified black spots so that lives can be saved in case of road accidents”
4). “It is my responsibility to rectify such mistakes to save more lives and reduce casualties by 50 percent”
5). “A third of the driving licences in India are fake,” admitting that it was “embarrassing” for him to admit it as the country’s Road Transport Minister.
6). In the new law, the licensing system will get changed and the process of driver license test will get computerized.
7). “We are pushing for intelligent traffic systems which will enable us to immediately track, real-time, when there is a traffic violation.”
8). “Increasing penalties is likely to have a positive impact, without which it is tough to get people to take road safety norms seriously,” he added.
9). “ISI standard should be mandatory for all helmets to ensure that people wear only good quality helmets.” The minister even urged the technology institutes like IITs, engineers and manufacturers to innovate on helmet designs and develop technology to produce light-weight helmets that are safe and not very expensive – he even promised to grant Rs 25 lakh to the person who will make such helmet.
10). The transport ministry is also designing course for road safety – people will take this 6-day course to learn how to be a Good Samaritan and how to drive safely on the roads. On successful completion of this course, people will also get certification.