Govt set to establish apex body for road safety | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The critical department of the finance ministry has green signalled the setting up of the National Road Safety Board, which will be responsible to steer the policies and their implementations to put a check on road accidents and fatalities. This green signal has now paved the way for expeditious setting up of the apex statutory entity under the amended Motor Vehicle Act.
Currently, the road transport ministry has a small unit of officials who deal with road safety issues in addition to other responsibilities.
Though the board will be an advisory body, it will play a critical role as it will have technical committees to look into different aspects of safety ranging from civil engineering to vehicle construction and standards, suggesting recall of motor vehicles and of safety equipment.
India has nearly 11% share of all road deaths in the world. The board with minimum three and maximum seven members will be headed by a chairman who must have held the post of secretary or equivalent post and the members must have worked at least in the rank of additional secretaries.
The key criteria for their selection will be their experience in the fields related to road transport and safety, urban planning, law, traffic management and regulation, police enforcement and investigation, insurance and civil engineering. The chairman and members will have a term of three years and they can be reappointed for a maximum of another three years.
The board will help formulate specific standards for road safety, traffic management and road construction for hilly regions and also in determining the cost of safety equipment.
In yet another development, the rural development ministry has appointed about 800 auditors for regular road safety audits of the village roads under PM Gram Sadak Yojna and road safety audits will be carried out on all stretches that are more than five kilometers.
“The share of deaths on roads passing through rural areas has increased by more than 7% between 2014 and 2019 while the number of road accidents has decreased. About one lakh deaths were recorded in 2018 as compared to nearly 83,000 during 2014 on roads passing through rural areas… the number of deaths increasing in rural areas is primarily attributed to the expansion of highways and construction of poorly designed rural roads with very few safety features , Said rural development secretary, NN Sinha.
He was speaking at a webinar on “Safer Roads for Safety of All Road Users” organized by India chapter of International Road Federation (IRF). Sinha said to improve quality and safety of rural roads especially at junctions where rural roads connect with highways road safety audits will be done on roads more than five kilometers in length.

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