DRIV­ING THE ROAD SAFETY AGENDA

Down to Earth - - ADVERTORIAL -

Road safety is a ma­jor con­cern in In­dia con­sid­er­ing the scale of in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties caused due to road ac­ci­dents. In­dia has a large net­work of roads and th­ese con­trib­ute to the economic devel­op­ment of the coun­try. The same roads are also re­spon­si­ble for the so­cial and economic losses caused be­cause of the ac­ci­dents, in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties that oc­cur on them ev­ery day.

Road Safety in In­dia

The WHO Global Sta­tus Re­port on Road Safety 2013, es­ti­mates ap­prox­i­mately half of all deaths on the coun­try‘s roads are among vul­ner­a­ble road users - mo­tor­cy­clists, pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists1. Th­ese gures are alarm­ing. In­dia has just 1% of the ve­hic­u­lar pop­u­la­tion, yet it ac­counts for:

6% of the world’s ac­ci­dents.

10% of the world’s accident fa­tal­i­ties per year. With its size, pop­u­la­tion, di­ver­sity, ur­ban­iza­tion and mo­tor­iza­tion, road safety is set to be one of In­dia’s big­gest emerg­ing chal­lenge. As per the MoRTH re­port, to­tal of 4,97,686 road ac­ci­dents were re­ported in In­dia in 2011. Of th­ese, about 24.4% were fa­tal ac­ci­dents. The num­ber of per­sons killed in road ac­ci­dents were 1,42,485, i.e. an av­er­age of one fa­tal­ity per 3.5 ac­ci­dents. The sever­ity of road ac­ci­dents,mea­sured in terms of per­sons killed per 100 ac­ci­dents, has also in­creased from 20.8 in 2002 to 28.6 in 2011. The re­port also re­veals that for the year 2011, the age group (25-65 years) ac­counted for the largest share of 51.9% of to­tal road accident ca­su­al­ties, fol­lowed by the age group (15-24 years) with a share of 30.3%. It is ev­i­dent that road ac­ci­dents lead to a ma­jor loss of the coun­try’s young and pro­duc­tive pop­u­la­tion2.

The United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in 2010 de­clared 2011-2020 a Decade of Ac­tion for Road Safety. The UN aims at re­duc­ing the global road fa­tal­i­ties by 50% by 2020. Presently over 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple die in road ac­ci­dents glob­ally.

Fault of Driver All Other Causes Weather Con­di­tion De­fect in Road Con­di­tion De­fect in Con­di­tion of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Fault of Pedes­trian

Fault of Cy­clist As per the study con­ducted by the Min­istry of Road Trans­port and High­ways (MoRTH) driv­ers’ faults ac­counted for 77.5% of the to­tal ac­ci­dents. It is the sin­gle largest fac­tor re­spon­si­ble for ac­ci­dents, fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries. This makes it vi­tal to train peo­ple to drive cor­rectly and safely. In the ab­sence of a proper driv­ing train­ing in­fra­struc­ture in the coun­try, peo­ple drive with­out proper train­ing, lead­ing to road ac­ci­dents and fa­tal­i­ties. Maruti Suzuki identi ed and re­sponded to this so­cial need for sci­enti c driv­ing train­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the coun­try. Road safety is Maruti Suzuki’s ag­ship CSR pro­gramme.

Fac­tors Im­pact­ing Road Safety

The fac­tors im­pact­ing road safety are many and it is nec­es­sary that road safety is tack­led from mul­ti­ple an­gles to make a real and vis­i­ble im­pact. Some of the pri­mary ini­tia­tives that need to be taken to im­prove Road Safety are:

Ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and aware­ness

En­force­ment

In­for­ma­tion/data/re­search

Pol­icy, leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tion Tech­nolo­gies (in ve­hi­cles, city in­fra­struc­ture and en­force­ment)

Road and city in­fra­struc­ture

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