New Delhi, Nov 2: The ministry of road transport and highways has initiated a move to fix flaws in the 25 most accident-prone “black spots” on highways across India.
This is part of a detailed plan to reduce the country’s morbid record of losing a life on road every four minutes and having the most road fatalities in the world.
“These black spots, which are accident sites, where accidents occur again and again spread across 13 major states, account for 90 percent of road accidents in the country,” A.K. Upadhyay, secretary in the ministry, said at a two-day seminar that ended Friday.
Among the 13 states that experience the maximum road fatalities are Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
The seminar on ‘Road Safety in Urban and Rural Roads’ was organised by the India chapter of the Geneva based International Road Federation (IRF).
“The highways ministry has asked the National Highways Authority of India and states to initiate work to fix structural flaws in roads in the five worst black spots by March and complete work on the 20 other black spots by December 2012,” said Upadhyay.
“The government has urged states to spend time and money on three other fronts – education of road users, new technologies for accident recording, stricter enforcement of traffic laws to crack down on violations, and emergency trauma care for road accident victims,” he said.
Various engineering solutions were also being examined for vehicle design and certification, which could be made a standard requirement for vehicle makers, he added.
“States like Tamil Nadu are maintaining an electronic road traffic accident data base and we are encouraging others to do the same so that such ‘black spots’ can be identified on an ongoing basis,” he said.
India loses more than Rs.1 lakh crore a year due to road accidents. In 2010, 1.34 lakh people died in road accidents.
Till a few years ago, India was behind China in road fatalities. But now, with nearly 12 crore vehicles on the road, India is far ahead of China on this grim parameter, the secretary said.
V.L. Patnakar, additional director general in the ministry, said that drivers were blamed and found to be at fault in most cases.
But poor engineering and designing of roads were equally responsible for road accidents, he added.