The Government has been a poor performer when it comes to ensuring road safety, said Transport Commissioner Bhaskar Rao. Speaking at ‘Safe Fleets – Awareness and Best Practice Sharing Programme for Fleet Operators' here on Wednesday, he said organisations in charge of planning roads and motor vehicles had collectively failed on this count.

Defending drivers and the police who are usually held responsible for accidents, he said the real cause of accidents was the criminal negligence of planners.

Criticised

Automobile manufacturing giants Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors came in for criticism from the Commissioner as they had started making perfunctory reforms only recently, though they should have done them long back.

Referring to the concept of “forgiving roads” in Europe according to which roads are designed in such a way that even if the driver makes a mistake he will not get hurt, Mr. Rao said it should be implemented in India too.

In response to the contention by M.R. Shanmugappa, president of the All India Motor Transport Congress, that the educational qualification required of transport drivers was unnecessary, Mr. Rao said there were many improvements taking place in motor dynamics. To understand these, the eighth standard qualification was not enough. Mr. Shanmugappa, who also spoke at the programme pointed out that lack of driver training schools in the country was a major contributor to road accidents.

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