India committed to improve road safety: Gadkari

Brasilia, Nov 19 (IANS) Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said India was committed to improving safety, efficiency and sustainability in the transport sector.

“This approach is even more relevant in India as the problem of safety is also a problem of social equity,” he said.

Speaking at the global conference on traffic safety here, Gadkari said India fully endorsed the Safe System Approach which is being advocated by the United Nations.

He said the road transport sector has played a key role in driving the rising Indian economy during the last few decades and major efforts are being made towards modernizing the country’s road infrastructure spread over 5 million km.

“However, with over 200 million vehicles on our roads and vehicle registration witnessing a rapid increase at the rate of 10 percent annually, our country is faced with serious impacts on road safety levels,” Gadkari said.

The minister said he has asked the government for complete replacement of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 to encompass comprehensive promotion of road safety as well as promotion of the development of an efficient, seamless and integrated multi-mode public transport system.

India is collaborating with International Road Federation, WHO and World Bank who are assisting the country by way of strengthening the capabilities of various institutions, enhancing awareness, improving engineering designs for safer roads, improved trauma care and host of related activities.

“We are working towards making road safety a social movement. Issues related to road safety have also been included in the school curriculum.”

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