New Delhi: Road safety is the topmost priority of the government, which looks to reduce accident deaths by 50 percent by 2030, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. Addressing an event organised by industry body CII, Gadkari further said change in social behaviour is very important along with focusing on strengthening ‘4Es' -- Engineering (road & vehicle engineering), Enforcement, Education and Emergency medical service – of road safety.
He emphasized on cooperation of all stakeholders for enhancing road safety. The road transport and highways minister said as per a report, there were 4.6 lakh road accidents, 1.68 lakh deaths and 4 lakh serious injuries in 2022.
He said every hour there are 53 road accidents and 19 deaths.
Gadkari said the number of road accidents increased by 12 percent and accident deaths by 10 percent in 2022, resulting in a loss of 3.14 percent to the GDP. The minister said 60 percent of deaths were in the age group of 18-35 years.
He said the system of rewards for good traffic behaviour among citizens has yielded positive results in Nagpur.
Gadkari underscored the need for improving the quality of detailed project reports on part of the industry particularly focusing on quality of roads, and safety perspective.
“Engineers have to take major responsibility in planning roads better, from the point of view of safety," he said, adding that their detailed planning reports should have road safety perspective deeply ingrained.
According to Gadkari, the industry should also analyse blackspots where maximum accidents are occurring and approach the concerned agencies-NHAI, state Govt, Municipalities and others and even publish those details in newspapers.
On Education, the minister said that the automobile sector and heavy machinery sector should run driver training courses.
Speaking at the event, road transport and highways secretary Anurag Jain said the government is working with the insurance ecosystem on ‘Cashless Golden Hour Scheme.’
“We are working on the final stages of this insurance scheme, which will be out for public in the next few months,” Jain said.
He added that the new contracts the ministry is drafting will make it compulsory to have ambulances and paramedics at all toll gates. “We are working towards a goal of Zero Complains, Zero Fatalities and Zero Arbitrations.
"Though difficult to achieve, when we make them our goalposts, we work towards it on a mission mode," Jain added.