The Union Government along with the
State Governments have been implementing various measures to make Indian roads
safer. Given the magnitude and gravity of the problem, there is a need for the
society at large to take cognizance of the issue and to join hands to make road
safety a social movement. To give stakeholders an opportunity to take part in
concerted action the "National Road Safety Week" is observed
throughout the country every year. In line with this objective, the Road Safety
Week is being observed from 11th January to 17th January 2020 with the theme
"Bringing Change Through Youth".
Workshop on ‘Road
Safety’ by Rural Development Department to create awareness among rural India
The Department of Rural Development
is a key player in ensuring road safety as 70.23% of total roads in India are
passing through and connecting rural India. To ensure that rural roads become
safer, the Department held a workshop on ‘Road Safety’ with State Governments
and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the best practices that emerge
from States can be adopted by other States and more awareness can be generated
among rural India on how to improve road safety. The workshop was held to
disseminate information among States and increase awareness so as to propel the
economy forward and reduce the loss of lives and property which has a
substantial impact on the GDP.
The main topics which were discussed
and deliberated upon during the conference include:
1. Better quality roads so
as to improve mobility and reduce damage
2. Better visibility by
ensuring lesser serpentine S-shaped roads and more straight ones including
ideal road geometrics
3. Road furniture such as
walls on both sides of the roads, fences, road studs, speed bumps &
reflectors on sides of the roads and many more safety devices.
4. Better Signage to
effectively inform the drivers as well as pedestrians about the road and its
contours such as reflective sheeting sign boards, thermoplastic road
markings-beam crash barriers, over-head boards etc.
A short video clip was also shown at the workshop on
Road Safety with a special message from the Union Minister for Rural
Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar wherein he said that road accidents are
of grave concern and the nation is losing lakhs of people every year in these
accidents, mostly youth.
The concept of ‘Forgiving Roads’
The Union Minister added that roads should be
constructed with an understanding that their users are human beings who may
commit mistakes. Therefore, roads should be capable of preventing small
mistakes converting into big accidents. Shri Tomar said that these days, there
is a concept of “Forgiving Roads” all over the world and for this purpose
emphasis will be given on capacity building of Engineers and contractors.
Training engineers as Road Safety
Accident Prevention is a national Priority, especially
under PMGSY-III. Involvement of community in all the States through
advocacy, meeting and awareness campaigns is critical in accident prevention. There
is also an intrinsic need to conduct road safety audit of some of the critical
roads for which a training programme to train engineers as Road Safety Auditors
is also needed which will be undertaken in coordination with AITD and IAHE.