Ensuring safety of the road users requires all the departments and organisations concerned to come together and address the problems. The need of the hour is a multi-dimensional approach to road safety, Transport Commissioner M. Rajaram said here on Friday.
He was speaking at a programme organised by the Indian Roads and Transport Development Association (IRTDA) and Motor Vehicles and Allied Industries Association (MVAIA). Right from relocating the electricity poles, taking the telecom cables underground and constructing more bridges and bypasses to easing traffic congestion by diverting traffic and encouraging travel by public transport, there is a need for plenty of measures to reduce road accidents, he said. “It is unfortunate that the State accounts for the maximum number of road fatalities in the country, with most of them occurring due to violations of road safety rules,” he said.
The road safety week that begins on Saturday will include many awareness programmes on the theme “Road safety is a vision, not an intermission,” Dr. Rajaram said. He said Rs.40 crore had been spent on road safety programmes in the last four years. It was also important to invest on road improvements that include identifying bad roads, improving the lighting systems and mending the broken junctions, which is being done now, he added.
Awareness programmes are also needed for villagers who damage the median to walk across the highways, and due to lack of judgment become road accident victims, he said. Contrary to the myth that accidents occur only on bad roads, he said a majority of accidents occurred on properly laid roads. Drunk driving, driving without helmet and use of cell phones while driving are some reasons for such fatalities, he added.
Polytechnic colleges, IITs and other colleges should impart skill-based driving training to young people, so that every pass out is also a conscious driver, he said. On the need to monitor the quality of training imparted in driving schools, he said, “Many driving schools do not train candidates on defensive driving, hence many overtaking instances lead to head – on collisions,” he said.
Issuing of smart cards would help in monitoring issue of licences and traffic violations at the national level. On implementation, the regular offenders would not be able to get a licence from another RTO, he said.
IRTDA chairman K. N. Krishnamurthy, MVAIA chairman Bharath Chordia, and IRTDA and MVAIA Secretary K. Srinivasan participated in the programme.