Road Safety Week: Top 5 Announcements By Nitin Gadkari
In India, 16 people die every hour in road accidents which boil down to 1 death in every 4 minutes. According to the recently published National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, some 53 cases of road accidents took place every hour during 2015, wherein 17 persons were killed. These grim statistics of Road Accidents in India show how unsafe our roads are actually.
Also Read: Over 1.3 Million Road Accident Deaths In A Decade: India’s Killer Roads
To control this scenario and to initiate responsible driving among people, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways celebrates Road Safety Week every year in January.
Here are the Top 5 highlights of this year’s Road Safety Week so far:
1. Sum of 2 Lakhs to be given to NGOs working for Road Safety
Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari was at a meeting convened for the NGOs working in the sector of road safety, in which some 170 NGOs from all over the country participated, and announced a grant of Rs 2 Lakh to the NGOs working for the road safety cause and make people more aware about the initiative. He said that the participation of citizens is most essential for making roads safe.
2. States Need To Identify Black Spots On National Highways
During the Annual Road Safety Week 2017 meeting, Nitin Gadkari asked the state governments to identify accident spots on state highways and send proposals to the road ministry for rectification. The government had earlier said that it will spend an amount of Rs 11,000 crore over the course of 5 years to fix black spots across the country. Till now some 800 black spots have already been identified across India and the ministry has already released Rs 500 crore to rectify them.
Nitin Gadkari at the Annual Road Safety Week meeting said, “10 per cent of Central Road Fund (CRF) has been kept aside for road safety work can be used for identification of black spots.”
Watch: Making Highways Safer My Responsibilty: Nitin Gadkari
3. From Higher Penalties To Intelligent Traffic Systems
During the Road To Safety Conclave, a joint initiative of NDTV and Diageo, Mr Gadkari said, “30 per cent of the licenses in India are bogus. It is embarrassing for me to state this as a minister.”
The minister also hinted that the government may take tough measures to ensure that rules are followed. He stressed upon the fact that increasing penalties can have a positive impact – “without high penalties it is tough to get people to take road safety norms seriously,” he added.
He also added that the Ministry is pushing for intelligent traffic systems which will enable them to immediately track, real-time, when there is a traffic violation. He further added that modernising systems with the latest technology is something which is top on his Ministries agenda for now.
Watch: People Will Hesitate To Violate Traffic Rules If Penalty Is Hefty: Nitin Gadkari
4. Launch Of Two Mobile Apps – e-Challan and m-Parivaha
These new mobile apps will provide a comprehensive digital solution for enforcement of traffic rules. App e-Challan will provide improved transparency and enhance traffic management by connecting all stakeholders through a common system and ensuring data integrity. The app will also provide ease of operations, efficient monitoring through digitisation of records.
Coming to the second app m-parivahan which is a citizen-centric app, the app will facilitate access to various transport-related services like providing virtual driving license and registration certificate. It also helps users to get all details about the owner of the vehicle just by entering vehicle number, so it is easier to track offenders in case of road mishaps.
The same app also enables people to report accidents by clicking pictures and inform the traffic authorities in states and Regional Transport Office (RTOs), with an option to keep their identity confidential.
Watch: Government Is Pushing For Intelligent Traffic Systems: Nitin Gadkari
5. Need Of The Hour: Getting The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill Passed
The bill was approved by the cabinet and introduced in the Lok Sabha by Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari in August 2016. But since then it has been pending for review with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture. During the Road Safety conclave, Mr Gadkari said, “if all goes well at a meeting on January 27 then I need to take (the proposal) to the Cabinet and then to Parliament.”
The focus of the amendment bill apart from strict norms is, the safety of the road users, road accident victims, stricter driving licensing norms and penalties for law violators.
India is currently celebrating the 28th Road Safety Week from January 9-15, with the objective of highlighting the issues facing road safety in India and mobilise people to raise awareness about these issues, to make India’s roads safer.
Also Read: 5 Things To Know About Road Safety Week 2017
It’s an important step that the Minister himself has expressed dissatisfaction with the current sate of Road safety on Indian Roads. Ministry and its various departments are primarily responsible regulatory, licencing and Implementation. It’s high time we train and discipline our drivers for their ‘on road’ responsibility and hold them accountable for any breach. They are the cause of almost all driving related challenges. We must inculcate ” proactively safe driving” as a must before one gets a licence. Our pedestrians too need to be well educated and this should begin from school days.