Draft of ‘Road Safety Policy’ ready for cabinet’s approval

December 17, 2013



LUCKNOW: The draft for ‘road safety policy’ conceived in early July by the externally aided projects department of GoUP is finally ready for cabinet approval after rounds of deliberations and suggestions from various departments concerned like home, transport, health, education and PWD etc.Madhukar Jetley, advisor, externally aided projects department, GoUP shared the information on sidelines of a ‘Multi-sector Road Safety Workshop’ organised in association with the World Bank team in Lucknow on Monday.

“The draft is ready and would soon be sent to the cabinet for approval. We have proposed certain modifications in the lead agency, ‘UP Road Safety Council’. Now, the chief minister has been made its chairman and the chief secretary as the secretary of council.” He said the council didn’t have teeth so far and was rather acting as an advisory body. By making the CM as its chairman, the council hopes to have greater power to enforce laws. Also, it has been decided that the council would meet every month to review the progress on road safety.

Transport commissioner, Rajneesh Gupta was also present at the event who compared road accident statistics of India with that of the world. He said the year 2011 touched new heights of road mortalities in India, making it surpass China in total number of road accidents. Presently, India has the highest number of annual road deaths in the world. More than 6 million accidents have been reported in last one decade.

Unfortunately, UP is a significant contributor to this figure. Every year, more than 20,000 people are killed on the roads of UP. To tackle this grim situation, UP government is considering of creating a road safety policy on traffic management in the state. If so happens, UP could probably be the first state in the country to come up with its own road safety policy.

Amid deliberations, it was found that there is an urgent need to overhaul road infrastructures in the state to minimize accidents. The transport department claimed that due to ‘inadequate funds’, they are unable to repair roads of the city. It has sought 70% share in the enforcement money which flows from challans every year to create ‘dedicated road safety funds’ to develop road infrastructures of the state.

Officials said every year, the transport department earns around Rs 220 crore and the police earn Rs 60-70 crore from challans. All this money flows to the state treasury leaving little funds for development works. If 70% share is given back to them, they can utilize it in developing better infrastructures.

As per recommendations of Sundar Committee on Road Safety and Traffic Management, officials pointed out that once roads become safer, number of accidents and violations would significantly reduce thereby decreasing funds. Officials suggested that the cess earned on petrol and diesel in Uttar Pradesh by GOI can be given back to the state to compensate for the depleting funds.

The externally aided projects department announced that it is working in coordination with the World Bank to develop standard roads in UP. The project would first target roads of prime use and the ones which suffer from maximum traffic congestion. These would be national and state highways including PWD roads in the state.

The project involves engineering improvements in high-risk corridors and focus on safety needs of vulnerable road users like children and pedestrians. It aims to introduce effective enforcement on high-risk safety behaviors like speeding, non-wearing of safety belts, drunken driving and driver’s fatigue. It would review vehicle safety standards too, especially safety of heavy motor vehicles and public passenger services. It would also attempt to ensure more effective response to accident victims, emergency care and their long-term rehabilitation.

Share your comments here: