International Road Federation (IRF), a Geneva based global body working worldwide for safer roads has urged the political parties in the National capital to add road safety and the commitment to reduce deaths due to road crashes in their political manifesto as well as curb transport pollution with a strong willed commitment to reduce road accident fatalities by 50% in the next Five years.
During the year 2018 more than 1600 persons were killed and about 6000 were injured in about 6,300 road accidents in Delhi. Annually, at least 1.50 lakh people get killed in road crashes and India, which has the worst record among all nations.
“The political parties in the national capital in their manifesto should include road transport safety program to make every possible effort to change the road safety culture while establishing clear road safety norms. Global agencies involved in road safety have blamed lack of policies and enforcement as the main reasons behind increasing road fatalities especially in the capital” said Mr K K Kapila, President, emeritus, International Road Federation (IRF) and Co-Chairperson, FICCI Transport Infra Committee.
“The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has amended the Motor Vehicle Act to discipline traffic offenders with heavy penalties and curb road accidents , inclusion of road safety in manifesto will help motivate other national and regional political parties to include road safety in their manifesto’s ” said Mr Kapila.
“Curbing vehicular pollution should also be part of the manifesto which should include keeping high-polluting vehicles away from cities and plan and implement their end of life. Well conceived and operational public transportation systems – supporting the metro, and bus services. Better maintenance and traffic management of roads to reduce travel time.” he added.
“Solutions to the problems also lies in improving public transport, such as Metro Service, introducing park and ride schemes, pedestrianization (e.g. CP and Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh), encouraging carpooling to work and building an additional wide ring road network in addition to the existing ones “ said Mr Kapila.
“An Action plan is also needed to decongest Delhi roads by better traffic management, covering the entire city with Intelligent Traffic Management System in a span about 3 to 5 years. This will help movement of traffic in designated lanes, proper guidance to the road users on the routes to be taken so that they avoid congested locations and take alternative routes displayed through Intelligence Transport System panels. This would also improve road safety and contain environment pollution. Other actions could be imposing higher parking charges in certain areas and higher road tax on purchase of second or third vehicle by individuals. The idea is to discourage private transport by putting in place a multi-modal public transport system in the Capital. The city’s thirst for owning vehicles looks nowhere near quenched even though Delhi’s roads are groaning rather loudly under their weight. Vehicles are in fact known to be the largest contributor to the capital’s fast deteriorating air quality” he added.
“Installing smog tower at identified hot spots (to begin as Pilot projects). will also help ” he added