Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) concerned over increasing road accidents in league with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and State governments will carry out Road Safety audit on about 3000 KM of State Highways and District roads in the country to find accidental black spots remove engineering defects during road construction and reducing fatal road accidents.

“In the current year, the ministry is targeting 3,000 km during the year 2016 to be covered under the audit, Road safety audit guidelines are being followed in the current NHAI projects. We are also planning to engage state governments to undertake safety audits of state highways and district roads,” Said MR Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) while inaugurating a Two day seminar on “Road safety — Time for action” jointly organised by MoRTH and International Road Federation (IRF) as part of the ongoing National Road Safety Week.

“A Road Safety Audit is an evaluation of a highway improvement scheme during design, at the end of construction and post-construction, to identify road safety problems and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate any concerns. Road Safety Audits are undertaken by teams of specialists trained in the skills of road safety engineering. All strategic road schemes and the majority of new works are required to have an independent Road Safety Audit t o take corrective measures to reduce accidents..” He said .

“ Apart from Road Safety audits, Government is also planning to launch a programme to sensitise and educate truck drivers on road safety on lines of AIDS awareness and prevention programme launched for heavy vehicle drivers several years ago. Under the programme all medium and heavy vehicle drivers will be educated about careless driving as well as about benefit of road worthiness of vehicles”Mr Mitra said.

“India has the dubious distinction of highest number of accidents in the world. “With 80% of all road deaths worldwide estimated in low-income countries, India leads the world in road accident deaths, with around 1,40,000 people being killed each year. India accounts for 10% of global road accident deaths. 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,” said K K Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation (IRF) while speaking on the occasion.

“Some of the initiatives for safer mobility to be discussed during the Two day seminar by Road safety experts 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.

“We urge the government and the various state governments to fix killer accident prone black spots in Delhi as well as other parts of the country . These black spots, which are accident sites, where accidents occur again and again have been identified by the Delhi Traffic police as well as the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).” said Mr Kapila.

“Several measures towards improving road safety including much awaited amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), improvements in roads from engineering perspective, road safety audits in all stages of road construction, beginning right from the planning stage, besides identification and remedy of black spots which account for almost 90% of road fatalities in India will help reduce fatal road accidents” added Mr Kapila.

About 200 road safety experts attending the seminar will also discuss legal initiatives for Road safety, road safety engineering measures, role of education in road safety, vehicle safety and trauma care and road safety .