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Hyderabad: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is taking several measures to bring down the accident rate in the country in consultation with various stakeholders.

According to data furnished in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, around 17 lakh road accidents were reported in the country between 2017 and 2020. In Telangana, about 85,000 accidents were reported and the State stood at ninth position in the country.

The accidents mainly occur due to road engineering and vehicle engineering defects, and lack of adherence to road safety rules. The Ministry, to inculcate traffic sense among the citizens, is taking up awareness and simultaneously enforcing traffic rules. “Various publicity measures and awareness campaigns on road safety were taken up through social media, electronic and print media. National safety week/month is organised. A certificate course for road safety auditors has been commenced in Indian Academy of Highway Engineers,” Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said in his reply.

With regard to road engineering, he said road safety was made an integral part of road design at the planning stage. “Road safety audit of all highway projects has been made mandatory at all stages i.e., design, construction, operation and maintenance. High priority to identification and rectification of black spots is given,” he said.

On vehicle engineering defects, he said the Ministry had notified the mandatory fitment of safety technologies in vehicles such as seat belt reminder, manual override for central locking system and over speeding warning system. “Mandatory provision for an airbag for the passenger seated on the front seat of a vehicle, next to the driver is notified. Also, from October 1, this year, M1 category vehicle shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags and two side curtain/tube airbags,” he said.

The Ministry was regularly issuing guidelines for enforcement of traffic rules. Also emergency care was arranged by the National Highways Authority by making provisions of ambulances with paramedical staff/emergency medical technician and nurse at toll plazas. A scheme for grant of award to Good Samaritans who save lives of victims of road accidents was started.



Author: Howard Caldwell