The World Bank has stressed the need for launching State Road Safety Incentives programme on national mission mode for implementation and enforcement of road safety measures to reduce fatalities in road accidents that would go a long way in achieving ‘Vision Zero’, seeking to reduce road fatalities to zero.
Pedestrians at risk
It said that its assessment of 12,000 kms in 11 States, including Telangana, pointed to a low overall safety rating for large part of road network with particular vulnerability for pedestrians and motorcyclists, locational vulnerability in high speed zones and roadside habitations, among others.
The study said Telangana for instance had about 800 driving schools, some of which did not follow the guidelines laid down for their registration and operation.
The Central government had set up 16 institutes of driver training and research at several locations, including Telangana, while the World Bank was also supporting several multi-sectoral, safe system-based road safety interventions in the State with loan funds and advisory assistance.
The State received the bank’s appreciation in effective utilisation of IT-based tools and systems. “In Hyderabad, speeding on the city’s outer ring road (ORR) reduced dramatically after speed cameras were installed at random locations. Offence notices are automatically generated and sent to registered owners of the vehicles and can be paid online,” the study said.
More, diverse vehicles
In its report on ‘Delivering road safety in India: Leadership priorities and initiatives to 2030’, the World Bank said a recent study of road safety investment in South Asia revealed a crisis that had been exacerbated by the rapid growth in vehicle ownership and diversity of motorised and non-motorised traffic of varying sizes and speeds, without adequate protection for the most vulnerable.
The crisis was particularly acute in areas where rapid motorisation and the provision of high-speed road infrastructure had serious implications for the safety of vulnerable road users — pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists — in urban areas as well as on inter-urban roads. “Road safety management at the national and sub-national levels in India lack a comprehensive and inclusive approach,” the report said.
The World Bank said the key priorities of the government were to implement the new national road safety strategy and all the directives of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act or MVAA at national, state, district and town levels. Towards rapidly achieving this, it was important that formal agreements were reached and institutional arrangements were established for implementing the MVAA provisions with State governments. Interestingly, the State is yet to endorse the provisions of the recently-enacted MVAA.