NBI Bureau – September 8, 2021
Road safety experts from the State demanded for earliest formation of road safety authority in Rajasthan for effective coordination between various departments and effective enforcement of road safety act, rules, plans and programs. Pratap Singh Kachriyawas transport minister of Rajasthan who delivered the inaugural address as a chief guest and endorsed the demands and said that state government will do whatever required to ensure road safety in Rajasthan including formation of Road Safety Authority, Child Road Safety Policy and Trauma Care policy.
Pratap Singh Kachriyawas said that there is a need of making the central and state rules and regulations people’s friendly and practical, so that these are easy to enforce for Road safety. Pratap Singh Kachriyawas mentioned that national highways should be safer and more safety measures are needed to save lives of people. He advised to use the road safety funds more effectively for taking innovative road safety measures in the state. Pratap Singh Kachriyawas also underlined the importance of good road user behaviour and shared his personal experience of road accident victim’s miseries and hardships being faced by their deceased family members. He called upon the road safety experts to come forward with innovative suggestions for ensuring road safety in State of Rajasthan.
Speaking during the inaugural session Sushmit Biswas, ADGP, Traffic said road safety need to be seen from the boarder perspective of connectivity and there is a need for evidence-based approach to reducing road accidents and increasing road safety. There is need to adopt scientific and best practices approach in highway design and remediation, law enforcement, as well as educational/training interventions. He has given examples of Europe and Singapore for efficient traffic management systems. Road traffic accidents have arisen as a major public health concern that requires a multidisciplinary strategy to address.
While speaking in the workshop Mahendra Soni, the Transport Commissioner of Rajasthan said that the tracking devices and e-learning licensing are the new ideas imposed by the state government. Unless society is coercive, results are bound to be illusive. He mentioned that new software has been co-opted by the government with the help of IIT, Madras for posting of accident data. Organ donor information has been mentioned in the license as one donor can save nine lives. Rajasthan is the first institute to have driving tracks for two wheelers and CIRT, Pune has contributed to form driving track for four wheelers. Rajasthan has a vehicular population of 1.75 crores.
Pratap Singh Kachriyawas called for cooperation by all building societies, mall owners to act as a partner to the government and help in solving parking issues and road safety. The same goes with shops and market associations as well.
George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International said it almost took five years to bring the new Act, with 66 sections revised in the new Act, there has been a complete overhauling of the existing Act. Enhancement in penalties has been the key feature of this amendment Act. Almost 1.5 lakhs deaths happen every year in the country, which is number one in the whole world and also aggregates as much as 11 percent of total accidents in the world, with less than one percent of vehicle population.
Union Transport Minister in the Parliament had informed that there has been a reduction in road accidents in 2020 by 18% after the enactment of new Act in 2019. However, this is mainly attributed to the Covid 19 induced lockdown and travel restrictions during 2020. Need to wait for some more time to see the real impact of the Act on the ground. Over-speeding is major cause of road accidents, which accounts for 71 percent crashes, 67.3 percent deaths and 72.4 percent injuries in 2019. Reducing vehicle speed can prevent road crash incidents as an average 1 km increase in vehicular speed can lead to 3 per cent rise in such incidents, hence due consideration in this direction. Number of deaths in accidents is more between the age group of 18-35.
In the technical session, challenges and way forward related to enforcement, road safety, emergency trauma care, education and Good Samaritan Guidelines were discussed in detail and the key road safety provisions which are part of the MVA Act, 2019 were discussed to seek the suggestions of the experts to make a detailed action agenda on the same. Madhu Sudan Sharma, Senior Programme Officer, CUTS, moderated the technical session and made the introductory presentation on MVA 2019.
Nidhi Singh, Joint Transport Commissioner talked about the new road safety initiatives being taken by Transport Department. He specifically talked about the Rajasthan Road Safety Road-Map which is being prepared with the technical inputs of IIT Madras, Integrated Road Accident Database and appreciated the efforts being made by Police Department to upload the data on the same. She talked about innovative initiatives being taken by road safety fund in SMS Trauma Care Centre.
Dr. Girdhar Goyal, Trauma Care expert, SMS Hospital Trauma Care Centre talked about importance of pre hospital care, BLS training and need of developing capacity of enforcement officials in pre hospital care. He explained all the step of trauma care and demanded for an effective road safety and Trauma Care Policy in State of Rajasthan. In the workshop Prerana Aroara and various other road safety experts talked about the Good Samaritan Guidelines, low awareness about the section 134 A and its provisions, effective enforcement of related schemes like giving cash award of Rs 5000 and a certificate of appreciation to all the good Samaritans and putting up boards of guidelines in all the trauma care Centres and hospitals in the state which are missing.
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