Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that considering the social cause, automobile manufacturers should provide basic safety in vehicles at a minimum affordable price. Pointing to a recent study which states that if we succeed in preventing deaths in road accidents, we can save around Rs. 90 lakh per person, Gadkari also said it is essential that automobile manufacturers should further enhance safety features. The Minister was releasing the World Bank Report titled “Traffic Crash Injuries And Disabilities: The Burden on India Society”, prepared in association with the NGO – Save Life Foundation today.
Broadly, the Report says that road accidents are a tremendous burden to society and the nation, and states :
- Reducing road accident deaths and injuries can boost income growth
- Large welfare gains can be achieved from proven costeffective road safety interventions
- Road accident deaths and injuries strike down prime working age adults in low and middleincome countries.
Gadkari said road accidents are a public health issue and challenge in countries like India, and said his Ministry has been taking several measures to reduce road accident deaths by strengthening what he termed the “4Es” of improving road safety – Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency care services. The Minister said the government is working with the World Bank on various projects, one of which is to streamline the road crash database that is iRAD.
Pointing out that one of the key findings of the report is that number of accident deaths are double in poor families as compared to rich ones, Gadkari said that, for the government, each death is precious, whether it is from a poor family or a rich family. Institutional reform, the Minister said, is very much needed, and it is very important to have a streamlined and robust and accessible legal, insurance and healthcare ecosystem.
The Minister said that recommendations of the report on safety of vulnerable road users, cashless treatment, improvement of civic and health infrastructures, penetration and compensation mechanism of insurance,post-crash response ecosystem and integration of stake-holders would help in revising the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 and Motor Vehicle rules.
The World Bank report comes even as the country is observing an extended first-ever “Road Safety Month” currently to build awareness of road safety.