National Road Safety Week: Know why the week is observed and the government is planning to reduce road accidents
National Safety Council of India organizes National Road Safety Week along with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways every year from January 11 to January 17. The week-long initiative across the country aims at making the streets safer. Many methods of spreading awareness are implemented to ensure that India’s roads can come closer to become a completely accident-free zone.
Many NGOs hold events and celebrate this awareness week. People take part in walkathon, marathon, awareness campaign and hold quotation cards to aware people about the importance of road safety.
Here are some eye-opening facts about road accidents in India.
- India is unfortunately on the top position for highest accident deaths.
- Around 4.5 lakhs road accidents take place every year and about 1.5 lakh people dye of it.
- As per World Health Organization (WHO), the top 3 main reasons for traffic collision are – not wearing helmets and seat belts, driving over the speed-limit and driving under the influence of some alcoholic substance.
- It has been identified that India loses 2 per cent of its GDP because of the road accidents.
NCRB data on road accidents
As per the NCRB data, the number of road accidents declined by around 8,000 from the figures of 2018 and came down to 4.37 lakh. The number of deaths caused by road accidents also came down 1 per cent to 1.54 lakh.
NCRB data suggests that in 2019, two-wheeler deaths accounted for 38 per cent of all the road death which was 35 per cent in 2018. A total of 58,747 deaths were reported from two-wheeler crashes in 2019.
The number of deaths in car accidents was around 13.7 per cent of all deaths due to road accident in 2019. Deaths in bus accidents accounted for 1 per cent less to the overall fatality figures compared to 2018 data. Same is the case with lorries and trucks.
The latest data of NCRB revealed that around 12,000 pedestrians lost their lives due to road accidents across the country in India. It is a 13 per cent increase that the number of deaths in 2018. The data states that National Highways continue to witness the most number of accidents – around 30 per cent of the total.
What Ministers has to say?
Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport Minister has said in September 2020 that India will achieve a 50 per cent reduction in road fatalities by 2025 with confidence on halving road accident deaths from about 1.5 lakh per year by 2025 as against the global target of 2030. He had quoted a data collected by Transport Research Wing of his ministry and said that there were 3,212 fewer fatalities in five states – Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujrat – in 2019 compared to last year.
He had also informed that his ministry has taken a lot of initiatives to reduce road accidents. He said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank is providing Rs 7,000 crore loan each to remove black spots from National Highways network. Nearly Rs 20,000 crore has been spent on removing the black spots.
Rajni Gandhi, Founder and General Secretary of TRAX Road Safety NGO said, “unfortunately, we do not have healthy road practices in India. We are still learning and implementing good road safety practices. There are several ways in which we can decrease the number of road accidents. We need a better road infrastructure, safer vehicles, proper education, awareness and road-safety management.”
“The safety handle behind the bike has gone missing. People sitting behind the driver of the bike has to take the support of the driver which puts extra tension on the driver. Why there is no airbag for people sitting in the back-seat of the car. In developed countries, people know how to give CPR but in India, it is a rarity. People tend to offer water the first thing an accident occurs. This actually is problematic at the time of surgery,” she added.
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