India must invest $109 bn to halve its road fatalities: World Bank report

PTI Washington | Updated on February 20, 2020

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World Bank releases report at Stockholm road safety meet

India needs to invest an estimated extra $109 billion in road safety over the next decade to halve its crash fatalities, the World Bank said in a report released on a day when at least 35 people were killed in four separate accidents in the country.

The Bank said such an investment will bring economic benefits equivalent annually to 3.7 per cent of the GDP. The report titled “Delivering Road Safety in India” was released at the ‘Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety’ in Stockholm.

It points to the high death rate on India’s roads caused by chronic lack of investment in systemic, targeted, and sustained road safety programmes and identifies relevant investment priorities to reverse the trend.

India has one of the highest rates of road crashes in the world. Every year, about 150,000 people lose their lives on India’s roads, and more than five times that number are injured or maimed for life, the report said.

The national highways alone claim one life a year for every two km. This is 10 times higher than the developed country threshold. Road crashes also impact economic growth, costing the economy between 3 to 5 per cent of GDP a year, it said.

Given the rising trajectory of crashes in India, the report calls the country’s recent enactment of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 as an important step towards reducing road crash fatalities.

Published on February 20, 2020

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