Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday flagged off “Road Safety Walk”’ from India Gate in New Delhi to kickstart the 27th Road Safety Week. With 80% of all road deaths worldwide estimated in low-income nations, India leads the world in road accident deaths, with around 1,38,000 people being killed each year. The country also accounts for 10% of global road accident deaths. Starting with the walk, where Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, was also present, the National Road Safety Week will be observed during January 11-17 across the country. It is observed every year in January to generate awareness among people about road safety. This year, it will be dedicated on the theme ‘road safety time for action’.
Besides, encouraging motorists to inculcate the habit of wearing helmet, asking pedestrians to follow traffic rules while moving on roads will be on the cards."Safer roads and mobility is one of the five pillars of the UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The pillar emphasizes the need to raise the inherent safety and protective quality of road networks for the benefit of all road users,” said KK Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF). “Some of the initiatives for safer mobility to be discussed at seminars to mark the week will include identifying hazardous road locations (black spots ) or sections where excessive numbers or severity of crashes occur and take corrective measures accordingly; Use of Intelligent Transport System, new Motor Vehicle Act, Licensing regime and also to promote the development of safe new infrastructure that meets the mobility and access needs through use of independent road safety audit findings in the design and other phases of new road projects. And achieving road safety through influencing vehicle safety design via deployment of improved vehicle safety technologies for both passive and active safety through a combination of relevant global standards, consumer information schemes and incentives to accelerate the uptake of new technologies.” said Kapila. As the basic objective of insurance systems is to compensate for losses incurred, the motor and personal injury insurance sector has a potentially key role in ameliorating the consequences of those casualties and crashes not avoided. They will also have an economic interest in the reduction of outlays, via a reduced number of casualties and crashes, said Kapila.