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Govt working to create helipads on wayside amenities at expressways to reduce road fatalities: Gen (Dr) VK Singh

Jun 29, 2022

  • All stakeholders need to undertake Accident Prevention and Control based on 4E's - Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Environment & Emergency Care: FICCI-GT Report

NEW DELHI, 29 June 2022: Gen (Dr) Retd VK Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Civil Aviation, Govt of India today said that the government is taking a series of steps to reduce the number of road accidents in the country. The government is working on placing ambulances at various highway tolls to provide emergency care. "We are trying to create helipads in each one of our wayside amenities that are coming up along the expressways. It will have helipad facility and hospitals can set-up trauma centre at these locations," he added.

Addressing the conference on 'Role of Corporates in Road Safety 2022', organized by FICCI, Gen (Dr) Singh stated that currently the government has placed ambulances at each toll plazas on highways but there is still more which needs to be done in this area. "This is one area where corporates play an important role to find more solutions so that we can save more lives. 11 per cent of world accidents happen in India and we need to work to bring down the number of road accidents to 2 lakhs per year from current 5 lakhs. This can be rectified and brought down if all stakeholders work together," he stated.

The Minister also shared that most of the road accidents happen because of the fault of others and there is, despite of all the efforts made, very less enforcement of the awareness on road safety. "We all need to come together including the government, corporates and NGO to increase the awareness," he added.

Gen (Dr) Singh highlighted that the government has taken a series of steps which includes adopting international standards for airbags used in cars. "We recently have issued a notification that just two airbags will not suffice and there has to be six. The auto companies need to follow the same standards as the rest of the world follows. Life is not cheap in India," asserted the Minister.

Gen (Dr) Singh further emphasized on the need to create an eco-system for safety, and this includes the transport sector, drivers, driving schools, etc. "We have mandated that good driving schools should come up in each state and especially in areas which are in the backward region. These schools will be equipped with all modern gadgets so that it also creates job opportunities in the area. We are providing financial assistance in setting-up the schools and effort is to reduce the number of road accidents," he highlighted.

The Minister also conferred the FICCI Road Safety Awards to leading corporates on various initiatives taken for road safety.

Mr GK Pillai, Advisor, FICCI Homeland Security Committee and Former Union Home Secretary said that corporates, in the next 5-6 years should adopt road safety as top of their agenda. "What we have realized in last two years is that almost 50 per cent of accidents can be avoided if there are good roads. Just good roads along with the safety features will reduce the fatalities," he added.

Mr Ramashankar Pandey, Chair, FICCI Road Safety Sub-Committee and MD, Hella India said that safety is a serious business, and we have to start prioritizing the emergency care to reduce the number of road accidents. "More than 90 per cent of road accidents can be avoided if the drivers are educated. Now is the time to come together and make road safety a national movement," he added.

Mr Arun Chawla, Director General, FICCI said that awareness and education on road safety at all levels, stronger personal commitment, public-private collaboration, and continuous efforts will help in reducing accidents on Indian roads and improve road safety. FICCI will continue to work with the government and industry in reducing road accidents to steer the country towards safer roads and better infrastructure, he added.

Mr Saket Mehra, Partner, Grant Thorton presented the over-view on the FICCI-GT report.

FICCI Industry Code of Conduct for Commercial Vehicle & FICCI-GT report 'The Road to Safety - A Step Towards Making India Accident Free' were released during the event.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Improving road safety in India is vital to the nation's health, well-being and economic growth. As evidenced in an analytical work undertaken by the World Bank Group (WBG) with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, reducing the number of crash fatalities and injuries over time would enable developing countries like India to achieve an increase in economic growth and national income, while simultaneously achieving population welfare gains.
  • Roads can be an immense contributor to the growth of an economy, but their safety can be ensured if the government (along with other stakeholders) undertake Accident Prevention and Control basis the 4E's:

i) Education

ii) Enforcement

iii) Engineering

iv) Environment and emergency care of road accident victims

  • To enable a pragmatic approach towards reducing road accident fatalities in India, the state and centre will have to join hands and strengthen the road safety ecosystem at the grassroot level.

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