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4E Approach & Mindful Driving Can Reduce Road Accidents

Amitabh Chaturvedi is an Assistant Regional Transport Officer in Aligarh district. He joined Uttar Pradesh Transport Department in 2004. He has served in the districts like Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Bhadohi, Gautam Buddh Nagar, and Aligarh. He has been continuously striving for reducing road accidents through various programs and trying to introduce various measures for safe driving on roads. In an exclusive interview, Amitabh underscores why road safety is quintessential in today’s world when vehicle population is exponentially rising on the roads.

1. What steps does Government of Uttar Pradesh take for road safety?

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has embarked on the road safety situation in the state by adopting a multiprong strategy. The Road Safety Action Plan formulated by the government has a special focus on scientific investigation of road crashes, road safety audits, speed calming measures, and enforcement of traffic regulations to ensure safer road. The Govt. of UP is aligned with the Stockholm Declaration of 2020 and is committed to reducing the number of road crash deaths by 50% by 2030. The Action Plan takes a holistic approach by addressing the 4 Es of road safety, viz. Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Care, as recognised by World Health Organization (WHO).

2. Who are the members of District Road Safety Committee?

The District Road Safety Committee (DRSC) is set up under the aegis of District Magistrate with Transport Department as the Nodal Agency and other stakeholders including the departments like PWD, Health, Education, Information & Industrial Development, and NGOs. Additional District Magistrate is designated as the Nodal Officer for DRSC.

3. What are the major factors for road accidents and what can be done to reduce it?

Speeding, wrong side driving, drink and driving, driving with improper license, poor health of drivers and vehicle, and overloading are the major causes of road accidents. Moreover, bad road conditions in India, wet roads, unavailability of pedestrian roads, and tailgating contribute to road accidents. Traffic Law enforcement can play a pivotal role in controlling the unruly driving. Enforcement of road safety devices like helmet for two-wheelers and seatbelt for four-wheelers, enforcement of speed limits along accident-prone road stretches, and heavy penalizing for drunk driving can also significantly reduce road accidents. Above all as a society it’s our collective responsibility to follow the traffic rules and while on wheel we must practice mindful driving to reduce road accidents.

4. What’s the overall road accident scenario in India? According to a World Bank report, India accounts for 11% of global death in road accidents with just 1% of the world’s vehicles. The country accounts for about 4.5 lakh road crashes per annum and 1.5 lakh deaths. In the last decade 13 lakh people died and 50 lakh got injured on Indian roads. A recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) estimates that the socio-economic costs of road crashes are at Rs. 1,47,114 crore in India, which is approximately around 0.77% of the national GDP.

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