Nitin Gadkari Emphasizes 4Es for Road Safety by 2030

the Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, urged the country to focus on the "4Es" - Engineering of Roads and Vehicles, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency care - to reduce road accidents by at least 50% by 2030. Gadkari highlighted the urgency of addressing road safety, noting that every hour witnesses 53 accidents and 19 deaths, predominantly among young individuals.

In Emergency care, industry should focus on using its resources to ensure that accident victims get healthcare attention in the golden hour and can help facilitate organ donation in serious injuries to save lives, the minister emphasized. Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced that the government is working with insurance ecosystem on ‘Cashless Golden Hour Scheme’. “We are working on the final stages of this insurance scheme, which will be out for public in next few months” said Shri Jain, adding that, the new contracts the ministry is drafting, will make it compulsory to have ambulance, and paramedics at all toll-gates. “We are working towards a goal of Zero Complains, Zero Fatalities and Zero Arbitrations. Though difficult to achieve, when we make them our goalposts, we work towards it on a mission mode” Shri Jain added.

Minister Gadkari underscored the need for improving the quality of detailed project reports on part of industry particularly focusing on quality of roads, and safety perspective. “Engineers have to take major responsibility in planning roads better, from the point of view of safety. Their detailed planning reports should have road-safety perspective deeply ingrained. The industry should also analyse blackspots where maximum accidents are occurring and approach the concerned agencies-NHAI, State Govt, Municipalities and others and even publish those details in newspaper” Shri Gadkari said. “We have worked on an Electronic Accident Reporting System. Earlier there was a time-lag in identifying blackspots and correcting them. Am happy to share that that electronic system which is almost set up now will soon start a monthly data-analysis exercise, based on which a senior project director or official will visit the site of accident and immediately work on short-term engineering defaults if any are found” said Shri Jain.

He added that ministry found from its analysis for Zero Complains that a third of roads were under no one’s (contracting agency or developers) responsibility. “We started a preventive maintenance system. By the end of the year, 100% of roads will have maintenance system under some kind of contract. About in next few months, we should have a system that will not let potholes develop” he said, adding that ‘no potholes’ strategy should reduce accidents as well.

On Education, Minister said that automobile sector, and heavy machinery sector should run driver training courses. “We will authorise that from skill development ministry. After all we have a shortage of 22 lakh drivers” he said, adding that CSR funds should focus on building Road-Safety mindset and etiquette among uneducated people. Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan are coming forward to create awareness of road-safety by driving positive change in human behaviour, said the minister.

On Enforcement, the minister said, that the Road-Safety Bill imposes higher fines, and penalties, but there is a need to also adopt innovative ways to incentivize people who obey traffic laws. We have a successful experiment running in Nagpur where people who show good traffic behaviour are given points which they can use to get discounts in restaurants, malls and other goodies, he added. “We have our advanced traffic management system (ATMS) which we need to connect to Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) We are working on that API integration,” said Shri Jain.

“We have to lock our arms around bringing safety in design, construction, operations and across the continuum of road-safety space. We have to adopt an ecosystem approach to ensure that we collectively reduce accidents by halve much before 2030, which is the goal we are working towards” said Mr Vinayak Pai, Chaiman, CII National Committee on Roads and Highways, and MD and CEO, Tata Projects.

“We have to take collective responsibility for the road-safety. With the use of technology, today the operator behavior of lakhs of machines can be tracked. Adoption of higher standards, and advanced technology can help us address safety” said Mr Deepak Shetty, Chairman, CII Infrastructure Council, and CEO and MD, JCB. “The government is doing its bit through policies. We now need a bottom-up approach on influencing drivers and also other stakeholders like infrastructure companies to address road-safety” said Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, Chairman, CII Core Committee on Road Safety, and VP, International Road Federation.
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