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17-January -2024

1.Shri Nitin Gadkari says Road Safety is top-most priority of the Government with target to reduce Accident Deaths by 50% by 2030.

Topic: GS3 – Disaster and Disaster management – Road accidents
Crucial for UPSC as it addresses a national priority, road safety, emphasizing governance, socio-economic impact, and public welfare.
Context:
  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari prioritizes road safety, aiming to cut accident deaths by 50% by 2030.
  • He emphasizes behavioral change, strengthening the ‘4Es’ (Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Emergency), and urges collaboration for awareness, citing a 12% rise in accidents causing a 3.14% GDP loss.
  • Positive outcomes noted in Nagpur with a reward system and stress on regular driver eye check-ups.
Additional information on this news:
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari, emphasized that road safety is the topmost priority of the government.
  • The government aims to reduce accident deaths by 50% by 2030.
  • Shri Gadkari addressed the CII National Conclave on ‘Road Safety – Indian Roads@2030 – Raising the Bar of Safety.’
  • Change in social behavior is crucial for road safety, along with focusing on the ‘4Es of Road Safety’: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Medical Service.
  • Cooperation of all stakeholders is essential for enhancing road safety.
  • According to the latest Road Accidents Report 2022, there were 4.6 lakh road accidents, 1.68 lakh deaths, and 4 lakh serious injuries.
  • Every hour witnesses 53 road accidents and 19 deaths.
  • There has been a 12% increase in road accidents and a 10% increase in road accident deaths, resulting in a socio-economic loss of 3.14% to GDP.
  • 60% of deaths occur in the young age group of 18 to 35 years, causing a significant loss to families, employers, and the economy.
  • The system of rewarding good traffic behavior among citizens has shown positive results in Nagpur.
  • Shri Gadkari stressed the importance of regular eye check-ups for drivers and urged organizations to organize free camps as part of their corporate social responsibility.
  • Education and awareness initiatives among schools, colleges, collaboration with NGOs, startups, technology providers, IITs, universities, traffic, and highway authorities are crucial for spreading good practices in road safety.
Road safety in India
Reasons for High Road Accidents in India:
  • Traffic Congestion: Overcrowded roads contribute to a higher risk of accidents.
  • Poor Infrastructure: Inadequate road design and maintenance increase the likelihood of accidents.
  • Lack of Traffic Discipline: Many drivers disregard traffic rules, leading to chaotic conditions.
  • Distracted Driving: Increased use of mobile phones and other distractions diverts attention from the road.
  • Unsafe Vehicles: A significant number of vehicles on the road may not meet safety standards.
  • Inadequate Enforcement: Weak implementation of traffic laws allows violations to go unchecked.
  • Inadequate Emergency Response: Delays in medical assistance contribute to higher fatality rates.
Way Forward to Reduce Road Accidents in India:
  • Improved Infrastructure: Invest in well-designed and maintained roads to enhance safety.
  • Stricter Traffic Regulations: Enforce stringent penalties to deter violations and promote discipline.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Educate the public on safe driving practices and the consequences of negligence.
  • Enhanced Law Enforcement: Strengthen traffic policing to ensure strict adherence to regulations.
  • Promote Road Safety Education: Integrate road safety education into school curricula and driver training programs.
  • Upgrade Vehicle Safety Standards: Enforce and regularly update safety standards for vehicles on the road.
  • Invest in Emergency Services: Improve emergency response systems to reduce the time taken for medical assistance.
Practice Question: Examine the causes of road accidents in India and suggest concise policy measures for mitigation. (150 words/10 m)

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