The Government constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri S. Sundar, Former Secretary (MoST) in the year 2005 to deliberate and make recommendations on creation of a dedicated body on road safety and traffic management. The Committee was also subsequently requested to finalise a draft National Road Safety Policy for consideration of the Government. The Committee while submitting its report in February, 2007 inter alia, recommended a draft National Road Safety Policy. Based on the recommendations of Sunder Committee, the Union Cabinet on 15.03.2010 approved National Road Safety Policy. The National Road Safety Policy outlines the policy initiatives to be framed / taken by the Government at all levels to improve the road safety activities in the country. The National Road Safety Policy is as under :-
- The Government of India is deeply concerned about the growth in the number of road accidents, injuries and fatalities in recent years. It recognizes that road accidents have now become a major public health issue, and the victims are mainly the poor and vulnerable road users.
- The Government of India further recognizes that as road accidents involve roads, motor vehicles as also the human beings, road safety needs to be addressed on a holistic basis. It also recognizes that regardless of jurisdiction*-s, the Central and State Governments have a joint responsibility in reducing the incidence of road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
- In the light of this, the Government of India, through this National Road Safety Policy, states its commitment to bring about a significant reduction in mortality and morbidity resulting from road accidents.
In order to achieve a significant improvement in road safety, the Government of India is committed to:
Raise Awareness about Road Safety Issues
The Government would increase its efforts to promote awareness about the various aspects of road safety, the social and economic implications of road accidents and what needs to be done to curb the rising menace of road accidents. This would enable and empower the different stakeholders to play a meaningful role in promoting road safety.
Establish a Road Safety Information Database
The Government will provide assistance to local bodies, Union Territories and States to improve the quality of crash investigation and of data collection, transmission and analysis. A National Road Safety Information System will be established for providing continuity and policy guidelines to this activity.
Ensure Safer Road Infrastructure
The Government will take measures to review standards pertaining to safety in the design of rural and urban roads and bring them in consonance with international best practices keeping in view Indian traffic conditions. Continuing application of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) under a national framework to establish a safe and efficient transport system will be encouraged.
The Government will take steps to ensure that safety features are built in at the stage of design, manufacture, usage, operation and maintenance of both motorized and non-motorized vehicles in line with international standards and practices in order to minimize adverse safety and environmental effects of vehicle operation on road users (including pedestrians and bicyclists) and infrastructure.
The Government will strengthen the system of driver licensing and training to improve the competence and capability of drivers.
Ensure Safer Road Infrastructure
The Government will take measures to review standards pertaining to safety in the design of rural and urban roads and bring them in consonance with international best practices keeping in view Indian traffic conditions. Continuing application of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) under a
Safety of Vulnerable Road Users
The design and construction of all road facilities (rural and urban) will take into account the needs of non-motorized transport and the vulnerable and physically challenged in an appropriate manner. The Government will seek to disseminate ‘best practices’ in this regard to town planners, architects, and highway and traffic engineers.
National framework to establish a safe and efficient transport system will be encouraged.
Road Traffic Safety Education and Training
Road safety knowledge and awareness will be created amongst the population through education, training and publicity campaigns. Road safety education will also focus on school children and college going students, while road safety publicity campaigns will be used to propagate good road safety practices among the community. The Government will encourage all professionals associated with road design, road construction, road network management, traffic management and law enforcement to attain adequate knowledge of road safety issues.
Enforcement of Safety Laws
The Government will take appropriate measures to assist various state and other governments to strengthen and improve the quality of enforcement in order to ensure effective and uniform implementation of safety laws. The Government will actively encourage the establishment and strengthening of highway Patrolling on National and State Highways in cooperation with State Governments and Union Territories as appropriate.
Emergency Medical Services for Road Accidents
The Government will strive to ensure that all persons involved in road accidents benefit from speedy and effective trauma care and management. The essential functions of such a service would include the provision of rescue operation and administration of first aid at the site of an accident and the transport of the victim from accident site to nearby hospital. Hospitals alongside the National Highways and State Highways would be adequately equipped to provide for trauma care and rehabilitation.
HRD & Research for Road Safety
The Government will encourage increased activity in programmes of road safety research by identifying priority areas, funding research in those areas adequately and establishing centers of excellence in research and academic institutions. The Government will facilitate dissemination of the result of research and identified examples of good practices through publication, training, conferences, workshops and websites.
Strengthening Enabling Legal, Institutional and Financial Environment for Road Safety
The Government will take appropriate measures to ensure that the required legal, institutional and financial environment for road safety is further strengthened and a mechanism for effective coordination of various stakeholders is put in place. The reforms in these areas would provide for the active and extensive participation of the community at large, of the private sector, academia and NGOs.
Implementation Strategy The Government has decided to establish a dedicated agency viz. a National Road Safety Board to oversee the issues related to road safety and evolve effective strategies for implementation of the Road Safety Policy. The Government has also decided to establish a National Road Safety Fund to finance road activities through the allocation of a certain percentage of the cess on gasoline and diesel.