Resolve to reduce road mishaps by 50 percent by 2019: Oscar Fernandes

New Delhi, Jan.16: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes on Thursday called upon all stake holders to rededicate their road safety efforts to reducing road fatalities by 50 per cent in next five years.

Addressing a conference of stakeholders in road safety here, Fernandes said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, being the nodal ministry for road safety, is working closely with all other stakeholders to make a difference in the near future.

Expressing concern over the 1.38 lakh lives lost in around 4.9 lakh road accidents reported during previous year, Fernandes said all out efforts are being made to strengthen safety on Indian roads.

However, he said road safety responsibility also lies with private agencies, different associations, non-governmental organisations and individual road users.

Fernandes said it is also necessary for all stakeholders-the government, the corporate houses, automobiles and transport sssociations, teachers and parents, the electronic and print media, the NGO’s and academia, to join hands to collectively address the issues and concerns of road safety so that precious lives can be saved.

Secretary, Road Transport and Highways Vijay Chibber informed that bicycle users happen to be one of the most vulnerable road users, susceptible to the high rate of road accidents.

During the year 2012, 6600 cyclists were killed in road accidents. Non-visibility of bicycle rider due to lack of proper reflective devices installed on each and every bicycle is the most critical reasons for the high rate of accidents with motorized vehicles.

Cycle by its definition is not a motorized vehicle and the ministry is not in a position to do much.

However, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs have been approached in this respect. Road Safety is a continuous engagement and can be ensured by making it a mass movement programme, he added.

Children and youth are among the most vulnerable. The age group (15-24 years) accounted for 32.3 per cent of total road accident casualties during the year 2012.

It is the ministry’s endeavour to make road safety a social movement in partnership with schools and Universities.

Educational institutions can play a very important role in promoting road safety. They can organize road safety activities at school and colleges and create opportunities for students to engage in road safety programmes.

In order to give a boost to emergency care of the accident victims, the ministry has launched a pilot project for cashless treatment up to Rs. 30,000 for first 48 hours for road accident victims on Gurgaon-Jaipur section of NH 8.

Ambulances connected with the control room through GPS having toll-free number 1033 for assistance are stationed to provide treatment while taking the injured to the hospitals.

In order to spread road safety awareness “Road Safety Week” is observed all over the country in the month of January every year.

The 25th road safety week was celebrated from January 11 to 17.

The theme for Road Safety Week this year is “When on the road, always say “Pahle Aap”. The function of the 25th road safety week was held at the India International Centre. Representatives from various ministries, departments, transport and police departments, transport sssociations, vehicle manufacturers, schools and colleges, media houses etc. attended the function.

To mark 25 years of the Road Safety Week, the Ministry also launched a new logo on road safety with an aim to encourage every section of society to join hands for cohesive action towards making our roads safer.

Fernandes also gave away road safety awards to state transport organizations for their performance and achievements. The details of awards are as follows:

1. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation – Rs. 2.5 Lakh (Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet above 10,000)

2. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation – Rs. 2.0 Lakh

(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet between 4001 to 10,000)

1. ST Haryana – Rs. 1.5 Lakh

(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet between 1001 to 4,000)

1. Andaman and Nicobar ST – Rs. 1.0 Lakh

(Winner – Under Mofussil category – For STUs having fleet upto 1000)

2. Sikkim NT – Rs. 1.5 Lakh

(Winner – Under Hill category)

3. Delhi Transport Corporation (D.T.C.) – Rs. 1.5 Lakh

(Winner – Under Urban category) (ANI)