The Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that the aim of his ministry is to halve the road accidents in the country by 2030.

India witnesses 53 accidents and 19 deaths every hour, most of which are young people which is not acceptable and addressing it is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ (MoRTH) top priority, Gadkari said at the CII’s national conclave on road safety.

“As a country, we have to come together to focus on the 4Es-Engineering of Roads and Vehicles, Education, Enforcement and Emergency care to reduce accidents at-least by 50 per cent by 2030,” the Minister said.

Golden hour attention

In emergency care, the industry should focus on using its resources to ensure that accident victims get healthcare attention in the golden hour and can help facilitate organ donation in serious injuries to save lives, the minister emphasised.

MoRTH Secretary Anurag Jainsaid the government is working with the insurance ecosystem on the ‘Cashless Golden Hour Scheme’.

“We are working on the final stages of this insurance scheme, which will be out for public in next few months” Jain said, adding that, the new contracts the ministry is drafting, will make it compulsory to have ambulance, and paramedics at all toll-gates,” he added.

On engineering initiatives, Gadkari underscored the need for improving the quality of detailed project reports on part of industry, particularly focusing on quality of roads, and safety perspective.

“We have worked on an Electronic Accident Reporting System. Earlier there was a time-lag in identifying black spots and correcting them. Am happy to share that that electronic system which is almost set up now will soon start a monthly data-analysis exercise, based on which a senior project director or official will visit the site of accident and immediately work on short-term engineering defaults if any are found,” MoRTH Secretary said.

Driver training

On education, Gadkari said the automobile and heavy machinery sector should run driver training courses.

“We will authorise that from the skill development ministry. After all we have a shortage of 22 lakh drivers” he said, adding that CSR funds should focus on building Road-Safety mindset and etiquette among uneducated people.

On enforcement, the minister said that the Road-Safety Bill imposes higher fines and penalties, but there is a need to also adopt innovative ways to incentivise people who obey traffic laws.

“We have a successful experiment running in Nagpur where people who show good traffic behaviour are given points which they can use to get discounts in restaurants, malls and other goodies,” he added.

Road Secretary Jain added “We have our advanced traffic management system (ATMS) which we need to connect to Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) We are working on that API integration.”