Gadkari leaves for Global Conference on Traffic Safety in Brazil

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Union Minister Nitin Gadkari left for Brazil on Sunday for “Second High Level Global Conference on Traffic Safety – Time of Results” on November 18-19, the ministry said in a statement here.

The conference, to be held in Brazilian capital city Brasilia, is slated to be one of the most important discussions in the world on traffic safety.

It aims to reaffirm the international community’s commitment towards reduction of traffic accidents that are responsible for 1.2 million fatalities every year, the ministry said.

“One of the major objectives of the event is to review the progress made by countries in implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which aims to save five million lives on the planet through the adoption of policies, programmes, actions and legislations to increase safety on the roads, especially for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” it added.

According to WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, the number of countries with comprehensive legislation about all five key factors of risk remained constant at 28, representing 7 percent of the world population, (449 million people) since the last WHO report in 2009.

“The goal of the Global Plan is that, at the end of the Decade of Action, the number of countries with comprehensive legislation on the subject increase by 50 percent,” the statement said.

“India, along with host country Brazil, is one of the Friends of the Decade of Action for Road Safety – an informal group committed to the success of the global plan,” it added.

In this connection, Gadkari said last month the proposed modified Motor Vehicles Act is aimed at making it effective in a transparent manner and the Indian roads safer.

Meanwhile, the Indian road safety NGOs and affected families from across India on Sunday commemorated the millions lost in road accidents in India on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

The World Day of Remembrance, adopted by the United Nations in 2005, is observed on the third Sunday of November each year to remember those killed and injured in road accidents.

“In 2014, road crashes claimed more than 1.4 lakh lives, and injured another 4.8 lakh people in India. Besides, road crashes lead to a staggering economic loss of 3 percent of India’s GDP every year,” the Coalition for Road Safety (Colours) said in a statement here.

Colours has petitioned the union transport minister to table the long-pending Road Transport and Safety Bill in parliament, it said.

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