Says loss of life cannot be the cost of mobility

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes on Wednesday called upon all emerging countries to adopt road safety as an important political agenda to improve safety of the vulnerable road users.

Inaugurating the 67{+t}{+h}meeting of the Woking Party 1 of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on Road Traffic Safety, Mr. Fernandes said emerging countries accounted for most of the road accident fatalities and the need was for defining a road map towards mitigating serious and fatal injuries occurring due to road mishaps.

The three-day meeting is being held outside Geneva for the first time in five decades in a bid to ensure better participation of Asian countries where rapid motorisation had precipitated issues of road safety.

Mr. Fernandes hoped cooperation between European and Asian countries would help in sharing good practices and enhance focus of the Woking Party on improving safety of more vulnerable road users in the developing countries.

Stressing that India endorsed the “Safe System Approach” advocated by the Unites Nations, Mr. Fernandes called for a separate approach for developing nations as the problem in these countries was one of social equity.

He said in emerging countries, pedestrians, cyclists and two wheelers were at the receiving end while competing for road space with automobiles, adding, the vulnerable road users comprised the major fraction of road fatalities.