Car crash test facility for India, road safety concerns high
Earlier in 2014, a host of entry level cars failed crash tests. Coupled with this, higher mileage promises by automakers in India is compromising on safety standards here. Vijay Chibber ,Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) at a Role of Corporates in Road Safety seminar organised by International Road Federation (IRF) said, â€ś Recent move by MoRTH and Ministry of Industry to introduce ABS brakes in two wheelers was shunned by the two wheeler manufacturers asking for couple of more years to introduce it.â€ť
â€śWorld wide safety care of the rear seat passenger is taken by the car manufacturers and most of the cars do not ignite till the passengers in the rear seat wear the seat belt. Here even making helmet mandatory for pillion and women riders has become difficult â€ś Mr Chibber said.
â€śTo ensure vehicle safety a car crash test facility will come up by end of current financial year. The NCERT will also add Road safety in school curriculum in the next academic sessionâ€ť Mr Chibber said.
â€śIndia has the highest incident of fatal road accidents in the world and accounts for 10 per cent of the total 1.3 million road accident fatalities worldwide despite having only one per cent of the world’s vehicle population. About 1.38 lakh people were killed in around 4.9 lakh road accidents in the year 2012. The estimates of the Planning Commission and the World Bank have put social cost of accidents between 2 to 3 per cent of the GDP every year. The Nation is losing more than Rs. 1 lakh crore a year because of road accidents, and this is besides the loss of human life and trauma.â€ť said Mr Chibber
â€śIndia is a signatory to the United Nationâ€™s Decade of Action plan for Road Safety across the world which aims to reduce road fatalities by 50% by the year 2020. Indian government has since realized the gravity of this epidemic and has taken some meaningful initiatives in the recent past. Several measures towards improving road safety including much awaited amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), improvements in roads from engineering perspective, road safety audits in all stages of road construction, beginning right from the planning stage, besides identification and remedy of black spots which account for almost 90% of road fatalities in India.â€ť Mr Chibber said.
â€śThe Government has set a five-year target for reversing the accident growth rate to negative. The measures to check fatal road accidents include improving road engineering, adding public transport with inbuilt safety features, providing separate cycle lanes to the extent possible, construction of lay byes on highways after every 50 kilometers with proper signages, providing for resting areas, eating joints, petrol pumps and other basic facilities, rest rooms and communication facilities , thus improving public transport system.â€ť added Mr Chibber.
â€śIRF has also suggested Road safety audits on state road networks by the state government. Worldwide road safety audits are done to reduce road accidents, the audit includes improving the fault of road design which is major cause of road accidents. IRF can help in training road safety auditors as it has already trained more than 250 road auditors till date in the country.â€ť Said Mr K.K. Kapila ,Chairman, IRF while speaking on the occasion.
Dr B.K.Chaturvedi, Member Planning Commission, Mr Sanjay Bandhopadhyaya, Joint Secretary, MoRTH, K Ramchand, CMD, IL&FS and Maruti were present at the seminar.