Addressing a webinar hosted by the Internaional Institute of Security and Safety Management (IISM), Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said that he has prepared a roadmap to cut deaths on highways by half in four years. Gadkari cited that over 1.5 lakh people die and 5 lakh are injured in the country in road accidents, and that by 2025, the government is planning to reduce the number of deaths to 50 percent and to zero by 2030.
The Stockholm Declaration, Gadkari said, on road safety in Sweden held in February last year called for a reduction in road accidents by 50 percent in 2030. However, Gadkari stated that India would achieve this by 2025.
Gadkari confirmed that the ministry is currently focussing on engineering, effective implementation, training and strengthening of emergency services and has already amended the Motor Vehicle Acto (MVA) 2019, and that it is the responsibility of the centre and the states to follow the act.
Over time, road safety has become an urgent health and development issue with the number of deaths around the world remaining shockingly high with an estimated 13.5 lakh people being killed each year. Additionally, as many as 5 crore people are injured.
Road accidents currently stand as the eighth leading cause of death globally for people of all ages and the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5 to 29 years.
Gadkari pointed that road accident, on an average cost the countries 3.14 percent of their GDP and that if the same was stopped the countries could save Rs 1 crore towards every person.
The Minister stated that they have already started implementing the roadmap by creating awareness among drivers, road safety drives at school levels.