Looking into increasing number of road accidents in the state, the Haryana Government announced its Road Safety Policy on Thursday. The policy is aimed at 50 per cent reduction in fatalities and injuries by the year 2025, considering 2015 as the base year, and lay emphasis on enhancing awareness about road safety.
Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal, said that 5,250 persons died and 11,564 got injured in road accidents between January 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016.
The Chief Minister said this while replying to a question raised during the Budget Session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
According to statistics, 12,009 accidents occurred during this period. As many as 8,912 vehicles which had caused accidents were traced and 8,849 drivers were arrested, he added.
Giving details, a spokesman of Haryana Transport Department said that the other objectives of the comprehensive policy are to establish road safety information database, enhance safer road infrastructure, safety of vulnerable road users, lay emphasis on road traffic safety education and training, strict enforcement of traffic laws, emergency medical assistance to road accident victims, research for road safety and strengthening institutional arrangements.
The Government will encourage research in road Safety by identifying priority areas, funding research in those areas adequately and establishing Centers of Excellence in academic institutions.
The Transport Department, being the Nodal Agency for road safety, will create a State Road Safety Fund with the objective of strengthening and effectively implementing road safety measures in the State. This fund will be utilized for undertaking necessary steps required to reduce accidents and building public awareness about various aspects of Road Safety.
The Government has also decided to establish a dedicated Steering Committee on Road Safety, headed by the Chief Secretary. This Committee will suggest ways for evolving effective strategies for promoting road safety and to monitor the effective implementation of the Road Safety Policy.
The spokesperson said that there was an urgent need to save the human lives which are lost in accidents in the state. In Haryana, about 11000 accidents take place every year and about 4000 people lose their lives in these road accidents. Under this policy, the state government intends to increase coordination between various concerned departments and seek joint efforts from all stakeholders as well as citizens. Government will undertake an in-depth analysis of the factors affecting road safety to achieve the objective in its true spirit, he added.
The spokesperson said that specific Road Safety Action Plans will be formulated by the concerned Departments like Transport, Police, Public Works (Building and Roads), Education and Medical and Health and each department would ensure appropriate action to give effect to the targets fixed in the Action Plans.
Giving details about key features of the policy, he said that the state government plans to undertake concrete efforts to promote public awareness about the various aspects of road safety, through comprehensive measures which include planning and promoting through different methods of Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency care. The State will try to control the number of accidents, number of deaths and number of injuries through various methods of Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency care.
The Haryana government spokesperson further said that the government will establish a state level road safety information system to assist all stakeholders in accessing information related to road safety as well as monitoring all road safety related measures. It will prepare a data base of all registrations, driving licenses, permits to enable the enforcing agencies to keep a track of all traffic violators and consequent suspension of registrations, licenses and permits. It will help in identifying accident prone points and black spots besides help in taking remedial steps like traffic lights, speed breakers and road up gradation. It will also assist at the time of accidents by providing online information about Trauma Centers and medical care centers and hospitals in the area to enable the concerned agencies in providing immediate medical assistance to accident victims. It will also provide information about post-accident care and rehabilitation centers in the State. To achieve this goal, it will seek the help and assistance of the Government of India as provided in the National Road Safety Policy.
The government would take conscious steps to promote planning and construction of well- designed roads both rural as well as urban as per the latest international standards to ensure safe travel. It will adopt an accident reduction strategy for identifying black spots on existing roads and installing speed breakers, traffic lights or redesigning roads at these spots; construction of subways, cyclist paths and pedestrian paths. It shall also undertake road improvement initiatives. In addition, government will also take steps to promote statutory periodic inspections as an essential check on the road-worthiness of all vehicles. Government will also take stringent measures to improve the air quality by checking emissions from vehicles to curb vehicular pollution.
The system of driver training, licensing and awareness would be made more efficient to improve the competence and capability of the drivers. More systemic improvements will be made to ensure qualitative improvement to test and evaluate the driving skills of all driving license applicants. Besides, design and construction of all road facilities- rural as well as urban will take into account the needs of non-motorised transport and the vulnerable and physically challenged including pedestrians in an appropriate manner. The Government will seek to disseminate “best practices” in this regard to town planners, architects and highway and traffic engineers.
The government will enhance its efforts to promote road safety knowledge and awareness amongst all sections of society through education, training and publicity campaigns. Road safety education will focus especially on school children and college going students. Road safety publicity campaigns will be used to propagate good road safety practices amongst all sections of society. NGOs will be encouraged to actively participate in road safety programs. The state government will also encourage all professionals associated with road design, road construction, road network management, traffic management and law enforcement to attain adequate knowledge of road safety issues.
Under the policy, the government will make- efforts to improve the quality of traffic enforcement with the help, of latest equipment. Government will take appropriate steps to ensure that the enforcement agencies are adequately manned, trained and equipped to carry out their functions of effective enforcement.
While referring to provision of emergency medical assistance to road accident victims, he said that state government will make earnest efforts to ensure that road accident victims benefit from speedy and effective trauma care and health management. Preventive steps like routine eye check-up camps and health camps will also be organized. The state government will also take steps to ensure that compensation is provided to accident victims especially to those belonging to the poorer sections of the society and within a reasonable period from different schemes in operation in the state.