Global road safety body for safe roads in Himachal

News, Views

Shimla:   International Road Federation (IRF), Geneva based global body working for better and safer roads world wide has expressed deep concern at high death toll of 28 people in the bus accident in near Khaneri in Rampur in Shimla District  of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday

“India accounts for highest number of road accident deaths and accounts for more than 10 per cent of global road accident deaths. During the year 2015 about 1.46 lakh people died in road accidents in the country. As a signatory to THE UN Decade of Action Plan, reiterated in Brasilia, India is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by half by the year 2020 “ said K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF) .

“The hill roads in the country are prone to regular road accident a lot needs to be done to ensure road safety, especially in higher areas including Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and North East states in the country  the government should plan to incorporate the latest technologies and safety features, including installation of soil and slope stabilisation and roadside safety in the hilly terrain infrastructure, crash barriers, intelligent traffic plans, rumble strips, use of speed governors and proper signage’s”. he said.

“ Special separate tough driving license for hill drivers, use of vehicle tracking system, tough vehicle fitness norms and certification  and development of safety code for hills should also be adhered to make road travel safe and sustainable on hills” said Kapila.

“Recent announcement by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as well as confirmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to installation of crash barriers and parapets on most of the hill roads in Himachal, Uttarakhand and Jammu And Kashmir State , to curb accidents and make the hill roads  safer is welcome. Road crash barrier systems are used worldwide on highways, especially on hill roads, to physically prevent vehicles from running off the roadway or falling down a steep slope and protect vehicle hitting a road side object. Similar crash barriers should be installed in all hill roads” he added.

“At present, most of the hill roads in the country have been constructed around hill slopes, which remain cut off during heavy rains due to landslides. Construction of well-engineered safe tunnels and long bridges will help in movement of traffic round the year. The Ministry of Road and State PWD’s should focus on engineering safe roads rather than more roads as rectifying faulty designed roads with black spots is more expensive than building safe roads. Similarly, the stress should also be on safe vehicles with higher visibility features, including ABS brakes, reflective tapes on commercial vehicles and mandatory fog lamps on all vehicles,” he added.