Our country suffers from a huge number of fatalities caused by road accidents. To address the same issue, WHO’s Director, Dr Etienne Krug addressed India on how our country can reduce road crashes to half by 2030. Dr Krug, Director of WHO (NVI) and Chair, United Nations Road Safety Collaboration was invited to a webinar on 13th June 2020 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (IST), to discuss Mission 50 by 2030. The session was attended by Road Safety Ambassadors from 23 different countries and around 180 participants from various sectors all around the world.
The Five Pillars
The session comprehensively covered the Five Pillars of Global Decade of Action – road infrastructure, quality of vehicles, behaviour of people and trauma care, and emergency relief system, to reduce road accidents by 50% by the year 2030. And also the importance of youth in making vehicle policies that take into consideration public traffic as well as awareness tactics for the vulnerable groups.
Pointers mentioned by the Director
Dr Krug highlighted the following points:
- Apply knowledge of what worked in Sweden, New Zealand and Australia to reduce the number of road accidents even though numbers of vehicles are increasing.
- Top-level political decision making and intervention are necessary for policies to work as the number of vehicles keep on increasing and so does the number of road fatalities.
- The role of technology is a very important component as it is involved in both micro and macro-level policy designing. Along with technological advances, we should also work at the ground level.
- Vehicles should be designed keeping in mind the protection of vulnerable groups (children playing along the roadside, people walking/cycling)
- For an effective emergency relief system, given India’s heterogeneous Traffic Grid, there should be bystander training. Further, ISD (Integrated Systems Design) should also focus on that.
Dr Krug concluded with “I hope there will be strong attention to the importance of tackling safety on road. That we will continue to improve and enforce the laws, with a particular thought for vulnerable road users (walking, cycling, etc.). And public transport needs to get more space, not only physically but in the thoughts and legislative efforts of the government. I also hope that we will approach the issue from a sustainability angle which means making sure that we don’t promote transportation by cars but also by other means.”
In response to the changing landscape during COVID-19 pandemic, each week IRSC invites a variety of road safety experts for a live discussion and Q&A offering new insights into different aspects of road safety. The webinar series has completed 9 sessions with prominent speakers like Dr Eva Molnar (Former Director of UNECE), Rashmi Urdhwareshe (Director, ARAI), Abhay Damle (Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India), Piyush Tiwari (CEO &Founder, SaveLIFE Foundation) and IV Rao (Former Sr MEO Engg and Director MACE) and attended by 1200 + participants from different sectors and all around the globe.
IRSC is the road safety initiative of the Solve Foundation. It works across Policy, Law, Medical, Awareness, Technical domains in its efforts to attack the problem of lives being lost due to road accidents. It is the largest youth-led organization working across 50+ cities with 40,000+ volunteers while leading initiatives of Central and State Governments.