655 CHILDREN BELOW THE AGE OF 18 YEARS DIED IN DELHI IN THE YEAR 2018 ALONE, MOSTLY SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN

About 200 Eminent road safety experts and stake holders from Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, state transport departments, CBSE, NCERT, Ministry of Human resources, Schools and Fleet Operators, Research Organisations, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Asia and the Pacific and  World Health Organization (WHO) will take part in the Two day conference on ‘Formulation of Draft Policy for the Safety of Transporting School Children’ to be held in the national capital Delhi on April 29-30, 2019 at India Habitat centre.

The Two day conference is being organised by The Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in partnership with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways,(MoRTH)  Government of India, and in association with the School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi supported by Goodyear India’s CSR initiative ‘Safer Roads Safer You’.

“The Two-day Conference is aimed at developing a policy document for India and South East Asia to incorporate the following domains: roles and responsibility, road environment, vehicle factors, standard operating procedures as well as the curriculum of training of important stakeholders dealing with the transportation of school children in all modes of transport including both motorised and non-motorised means, enforcement, and post-crash management. “said Dr Rohit Baluja President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE),

“The WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2018 reveals that road traffic injuries are the first cause of death among children aged 5 and 14 as well as young adults aged 15 and 29. As far as India is concerned, the data provided by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India also highlights that 10,000 children below the age of 18 and 35,000 young adults between 19 and 25 are killed in road accidents every year. During the year 2018  about 655 children below the age of 18 years mostly school going children died in road accidents in Delhi alone” said Dr Baluja.

“”While some actions have been initiated through the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court in the area of developing Codes of Practice for the transportation by school buses. But most of the school children in Delhi and other parts of the country especially small towns travel in other mode of transport. There is a compelling need to consider other modes of transport. Children reach school using multiple modes of transportation, including: cars, vans, bicycles, bicycle & E-rickshaws, auto- rickshaws, powered two-wheelers, animal pulled vehicles and walking.” said  Dr Baluja.

The ‘Development of a Draft National Policy for the Safety of Transporting School Children (in all modes of transportation)’ is the need of the hour. Such a Policy or Guide would support the Central and State Governments in India as well as nations in the South East Asian Region, to evolve a robust safety transport system during school journeys. This  conference is a clarion call to highlight the vulnerability of school going children, mainstream issues, identify stakeholders, outline their role and responsibilities, share national and international best practices, explore communication and technological innovations and consider possible solutions to arrive at comprehensive policy document and an implementation action plan that ensures”” he added.

Some of the eminent participants at the conference will include Mr Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, MoRTH, Mr Sudeep Lakhtakia, Bureau of Police research & development, , Dr Robert Nowak, UNECE, Ms Jo fung, Transport Division, UNESCAP, Mr Pemba Wangchuk, Bhutan Road Safety and Transport authority, ,Mr Saroj Kumar Pradhan, Department of Roads, Nepal, Dr Jae hoon Sul, Korea transport Institute, Dr Sewa Ram, School of Planning and Architecture, Mr M S Upadhye, Chief Security Commissioner, Metro Rail (DMRC) .

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