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Road accident reduction target postponed by 6 years to 2030: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari

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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced a revised timeline for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ ambitious goal of reducing road accidents in India by 50%. Initially set for 2024, the new target is now 2030. This shift acknowledges the challenges faced in achieving a significant reduction in accidents and fatalities on Indian roads.
Gadkari, addressing a gathering, expressed his determination to achieve the revised target by 2030. Previously, the minister had aimed to bring down the number of accidents to half by 2024, a goal that proved challenging in the face of persistently high accident rates in the country.

Road accident reduction target postponed by 6 years to 2030: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari

India stands among the nations with the highest incidence of road accidents and fatalities globally. The minister identified flawed road designs and driver behavior as major contributors to the alarming statistics. Despite the Ministry’s efforts, including initiatives like identifying black spots on highways, the desired impact has yet to be realized.
Releasing the “Road Safety Good Practices in India” report prepared by the SaveLIFE Foundation, Gadkari outlined the latest target. He stated, “We have set a latest target to reduce the number of road accidents and the resulting deaths in the country by half by 2030.”

According to a ministry report, road accidents increased by 12% in the previous year, indicating a critical need for comprehensive measures. The report highlighted that India witnessed an average of 53 road accidents per hour, resulting in approximately 19 deaths. Fatalities surged by over nine percent compared to the previous year.

Road accident reduction target postponed by 6 years to 2030: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari
Tata Punch after the crash

Overspeeding emerged as the primary cause of accidents, accounting for nearly 75% of incidents in 2022. Additionally, wrong-side driving contributed about six percent, while drunken driving and mobile phone usage while driving were significant factors, collectively contributing over four percent to road accidents.

The decision to extend the target timeline reflects a pragmatic approach, acknowledging the complexity of addressing various factors influencing road safety. The Ministry’s commitment to enhancing road safety measures remains resolute, emphasizing the importance of a concerted effort to achieve lasting positive outcomes on India’s roads.

Over the past few years, safety related improvements have been carried out on automobiles in a graded manner. Airbags, seatbelt reminders, speeding alerts, reverse parking sensors and ABS are standard safety features across all cars sold in India. ABS is standard on motorcycles displacing over 125cc while smaller displacement two wheelers have the combi-braking as standard. Speed governors are standard on heavy vehicles. Despite these measures, road accidents continue to be a massive problem in India, and a lot more needs to be done, especially when it comes to safe driving practices and general awareness.

Via HT