Wednesday , 19 February 2020

Roads to Safety

Awareness programme: A massive public awareness campaign was carried out in the electronic/print media through the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Doordarshan and All India Radio. Publicity material like calendars, posters, book on road signs, children activity book and mouse-pad etc. were also supplied to Transport and Police Authorities in States/Union Territories and Schools for widespread distribution. There have been a number of workshop-cum-training programmes for the officers of the State Transport/Traffic Departments and Municipal Corporations to give the participants exposure in all spheres of governance in road transport sector and to face the emerging challenges.

National Ambulance Code: Based on the recommendations of the Working Group on Emergency care, the Ministry constituted an Expert Committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, AIIMS, ARAI, NHAI, GVK EMRI, Apollo Hospital and National Rural Health Mission. The Committee formulated ?National Ambulance Code? along with detailed specifications for various types of ambulances. The Committee has already submitted a draft National Ambulance Code for approval of the Ministry. CMVR-TSC committee has approved this code and and the Ministry is in the process of notifying it under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.

Establishment of toll free number for emergency care: Process is on to develop an emergency medical service by having a 24×7 call centre with a dedicated toll free national telephone number backed by ambulances. NHAI has been engaged to set up the number and accordingly an RFP document has been finalised. NHAI will create a separate cell to monitor the functioning of the National Helpline. Calls from state highways will also be accepted, and will be forwarded to the concerned agency for providing relief on that particular stretch.

Establishment of Driving Training Institutes: The Ministry is providing assistance to States in establishing Institutes for Driving Training and Research (IDTRs) as well as Regional Driving Training Centres (RDTC). During the 12th plan, Ministry proposes to set up 5 ITDRs and 15 RDTCs. It is proposed to accredit IDTRs/DTIs for issuing of permanent driving licenses and compulsory training before issuance of permanent driving license for commercial vehicles.

Computerization of Road Transport Offices (RTO): A project is under implementation to computerize all RTOs and bring in uniformity in the documentation in the driving license and vehicle registration. Different softwares for registration certificate (VAHAN) and driving lines (SARTHI) have been developed. Improvement of Vahan & Sarthi software for computerization of all the RTOs including uploading of legacy data, improvement in the software for recording repeated traffic violations, detection of fraudulent driving licenses etc. is underway.

National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board: A bill for creation of National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board was introduced in the Lok Sabha which was later referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for examination. The Committee has submitted its recommendations which were examined and an amendment was incorporated in the bill in line with the recommendations of the Committee. A revised proposal is to be placed for consideration of the Parliament.

Electronic Toll Collection Systems: To facilitate seamless movement of traffic and collection of toll as per the notified rates, the Government has introduced Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system involving passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems for collecting user fee electronically. Pilot projects on ETC were launched on section of NH-5 at Delhi to Parwanoo in April ?12 and between Mumbai and Vadodara in April ?13. Financial assistance has been provided for implementing ETC departmentally on 51 toll plazas on public funded projects during the financial year 2013-14. For implementing ETC on pan-India basis, a new company, ?Indian Highways Management Company Limited?, with equity participation from NHAI (25%), Concessionaires (50%) and Financial Institutions (25%) has been set up. Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 have also been amended for fitting RFID tag on vehicles for ETC.

Replacement of level crossings: Presence of level crossing on roads is a major hurdle in safe and smooth flow of traffic. On the national highway network there are a number of level crossings. For stretches covered under National Highway development project, these are being replaced with ROB as part of the improvement programme. Still there will be about 250 level crossings on Non-NHDP stretches which have to be replaced with RoBs. MoRTH have drawn a time bound programme in this regard. Proposals for preparation of detailed project report have already been invited. Projects will be taken up through private sector participation or budgetary support depending upon financial viability of individual projects.

Road Safety Component: The Ministry is utilizing assistance from World Bank for widening of about 1100km of NHs to two lane standards. A component of this assistance, US$17.5 million will be utilized to pursue the objective of improving road safety:

a. Review and updating road safety standards and codes of practice maintained by the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) including improving of standards and regulations for work-zone safety, mainstreaming their implementation in the road sector and integrating those aspects fully in contract management framework. In addition, the existing codes on regulating vehicle axle-loads and institutional arrangements for monitoring and enforcing them will be reviewed and recommendations will be made for their revision/ improvement. The component will also support a series of central and state-level workshops covering road safety matters.

b. Implementing the Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS) in the project states, by replicating the successful experience in Tamil Nadu.

c. Strengthening road safety capacity at the central level through capacity building and advisory services for the Road Safety Cell at MoRTH, improving road safety related policy, legislative and regulatory framework, developing models for enforcement and emergency care, mainstreaming road safety monitoring and evaluation systems, carrying out social marketing and educational interventions, and supporting eventual establishment of the proposed National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board.

d. The training component will support structuring and conducting road safety training programmes for the staff of MoRTH, its implementing partners (National Highway wings of the Works Departments in States) and key sector institutions, particularly on safe road design, engineering countermeasures, road safety audit, and construction zone safety. Furthermore, as part of building capacity of engineering staff of MoRTH and NH Wings of State PWDs, the project will support developing 3-star rating designs for a few selected roads that were surveyed by the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) (Rajasthan NH-11C, NH-11A Ext., and Karnataka NH-218) and developing capacity for assessing designs from safety star ratings perspective. The Project will also support social marketing and awareness campaigns along project roads.

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