In addition to his efforts to improve road infrastructure, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has made decreasing traffic accidents a top priority. He has stated that the government is spending approximately 40,000 crore to clear out black spots on the roads.
Mr. Gadkari discussed the good cascade effect of infrastructure investment in an interview with ANI Editor Smita Prakash, claiming that it creates jobs. Mr. Gadkari expressed his sorrow about the loss of life in traffic accidents, noting the value of human lives.
In our nation, there are over five lakh road accidents reported each year and 1.5 fatalities. Those that died in the majority are typically between the ages of 18 and 34. Many accident victims are left with permanent amputations, according to Mr. Gadkari.
According to government statistics, vehicle accidents caused approximately 1.54 lakh fatalities and 3.84 lakh injuries in 2021. Road accidents caused 1.31 lakh fatalities and 3.49 lakh injuries in 2020.
Road accident-prone areas (black spots) are receiving approximately 40,000 crore in funding to reduce accidents. We are concentrating on automotive engineering while also working on the unintended locations, Mr. Gadkari remarked.
I acknowledge with great humility that despite numerous efforts over the past nine years, traffic accidents could not be reduced. The accidents can be attributed to a few key causes. He continued, Automotive engineering needs to be improved, including the requirement of six airbags, better road engineering, traffic signals, signage, and underpasses at key locations.
Additionally, he underlined the need for increased adherence to traffic regulations and bemoaned the propensity of some people to break the law.
He stated, There is also a lack of fear and regard for the law, adding, Kanoon ke prati dar bhi nahi aur samman bhi nahi.
Without the help of the public, reducing the number of accidents would be rather challenging. A crucial component of improving road safety is changing human behavior. For the purpose of promoting road safety, we have enlisted cricket players and Bombay film actors, and they are both actively supporting the effort, the official said.
He cited the positive domino effect of improving infrastructure, claiming that industries like water, power, transportation, and communication draw investment. Investments will generate employment possibilities, which will ultimately reduce poverty. India's progress depends on the development of its infrastructure.
Additionally, he quoted John F. Kennedy, a previous president of the United States, who remarked, American roads are not good because America is rich, but America is rich because American roads are good.
Mr. Gadkari had demanded a 50% decrease in traffic fatalities and accidents by 2024 in September of last year.
In India, the overall length of national highways has grown by around 59% over the past nine years under the Modi administration. After the US, the nation presently possesses the second-largest road system.
In India, there were 91,287 km of national highways in total as of 2013–14; this number is expected to rise to 145,240 km by 2022–23.
Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the Command-and-Control Centre for Bharat NCAP at CIRT Pune, facilitating star ratings for vehicle safety. Learn about the BNCAP testing protocol's impact on car airbag regulations.More