The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways organized the Road Safety Week on January 11, 2016 throughout the country to create awareness among general public to improve the safety on road and to give an opportunity to all stakeholders to contribute to the cause of road safety. During the week awareness about various causes of road accidents and measures to prevent them were highlighted.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a function in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan opening the ‘Safety Week’ expressed concern over about five lakh road accidents in the country every year in which about 1.4 lakh people lose their lives, Singh said that there was a need for proper training of drivers before they are issued driving licenses.
Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced a number of measures to address the problem. He said that a website is being launched to help in identifying black spots where accidents take place frequently. People can send information about such spots to MoRTH which will further take up the issue with the concerned authorities. He added that the work on ten black spots in Delhi is being taken up immediately. `11,000Cr is being earmarked in the next five years to fix black spots across the country. Further, training schools are being opened and computers will be used for conducting driving tests. Airbags will be made compulsory in every car. A Road Safety Authority will be constituted and Road Transport and Safety Bill will be placed shortly before Parliament.
The Minister also stated that the present system of issuing driving licenses would soon be replaced by a transparent and efficient computerized licensing system. Driving schools are being opened across the country to train drivers. Over 3000 centres will be set up in rural areas to train drivers and address fitness related issues. Roadside amenities will be equipped with helipads for quick transfer of accident victims to hospitals and all busy traffic corridors will have trauma centres along the highways. A train will be running across the country with exhibition on road safety to create awareness on the subject. A Facebook page on road safety, termed as Road Safety: Time for Action was launched during the safety week.
The India chapter of International Road Federation (IRF) will prepare reports and suggest engineering solutions to be implemented by Delhi PWD and NHAI.