Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shri Pon. Radhakrishnan has informed that the Government along with other member countries of the United Nations Organization has set a target of reducing road accident of fatalities by 50% by 2020. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken a number of steps to implement the said target:
i. The Government has approved a National Road Safety Policy. This Policy outlines various policy measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information database, encouraging safer road infrastructure including application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws etc.
ii. The Government has constituted the National Road Safety Council as the apex body to take policy decisions in matters of road safety.
iii. The Ministry has requested all States/UTs for setting up of State Road Safety Council and District Road Safety Committees, and to hold their meetings regularly.
iv. The Ministry has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on 4 ‘E’s viz. Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency Care.
v. Road safety has been made an integral part of road design at planning stage.
vi. Road Safety Audit of selected stretches of National Highways has been taken up.
vii. High priority has been accorded to identification and rectification of black spots (accident prone spots) on national highways. Around 700 such black spots have been identified for improvement.
viii. The threshold for four laning of national highway has been reduced from 15,000 Passenger Car Units (PCUs) to 10,000 PCUs. About 52,000 Km of stretches of State Highways has been identified for conversion to national highways.
ix. Setting up of model driving training institutes in States and refresher training to drivers of Heavy Motor Vehicle in the unorganized sector.
x. Advocacy/Publicity campaign on road safety through the electronic and print media.
xi. Tightening of safety standards for vehicles like Seat Belts, Power-steering, anti-lock braking system etc.
xii. Providing cranes and ambulances to various State Governments under the National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme for development on National Highways. National Highways Authority of India also provides ambulances at a distance of 50 Km. on each of its completed stretches of National Highways under its Operation & Maintenance contracts.
xiii. Launch of pilot projects for providing cashless treatment of road accident victims on Gurgaon – Jaipur, Vadodara – Mumbai stretch of National Highways No. 8 and Ranchi – Rargaon – Mahulia stretch of National Highway No. 33.
The Ministry has drafted a new Road Transport and Safety Bill covering entire gamut of road safety. The Bill envisages the creation of a National Road Safety & Traffic Management Authority(NRSTMA) to look after all issues related to vehicle regulation and road safety.
A sanctioned ceiling of Rs 500 Crore has been earmarked under NH(O) for rectification of identified road accident black spots on National Highways during the year 2015-16 for the entire country.