The global community at the United Nations has adopted the second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 with the target of halving the fatality and serious injuries. In spite of the detailed plan with five pillars of road safety along with large amount of guidance literature made available to all countries, the most of the low and middle income countries could not contain their growing problems of road safety to achieve the target during the first decade (2011-2020). A careful evaluation of the situations in LMICs suggests that these countries did not have a structured multi-sectoral action plan and could not implement the coordinated actions for all the five pillars for achieving the target. The requirement was to adopt Safe System Approach for implementing the five pillars of the global plan comprising of Engineering of Roads, Engineering of Vehicles, Education and Awareness, Enforcement and Emergency Care (the 5Es).
Although the LMICs have been able to attend to their road safety issues partially, the benefits were not derived due to not adopting a simultaneous 5Es concept (similar to Safe System). To emphasise this problem of implementation in the extended Decade of Action 2021-2030 for halving the FSIs following the Safe System Approach, the International Road Federation – India Chapter (IRF-IC) is working on the global concept of Safe System for delivering 5Es actions simultaneously. Under this initiative, a structured multi-sectoral Action Plan has been prepared during 2021 for the Government to adopt, and also followed it by taking up a Demonstration Safe Corridor Project in seven states of India. The seven states with worst road safety records are chosen (e.g. Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) and one road stretch of 100-200 km length, with very poor road safety record, was selected by the state for the demonstration project. The activities of 5Es are simultaneously being taken up in each of these demonstration corridors.
It is worth mentioning here that India contributes about 11% of global fatalities on account of road accidents, and there has been about 150,000 people killed and more than 500,000 persons injured every year during last five years. IRF-IC’s 5Es demonstration project included Road Safety Audit on the stretches of roads taken up for demonstration, followed by detailed design of infrastructure improvements required along with the BoQs and cost estimates. Road safety education is taken up in all schools and other institutions and communities located along the project road stretch to inculcate safe behaviour in the school children and adults in the 2 km buffer area on either side of the road, which are mapped in advance and further enumerated through survey. As part of the enforcement initiatives, training of a peer group of police personnel (from all Police Stations located within 2 km on either side of the project road stretch), on use of advanced techniques of enforcement and traffic management is being delivered in association with the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE). In addition, they will be trained on accident data collection using RADaR software developed by IRF-IC.
Emergency Care is the fifth E, for which IRF-IC has mapped all hospitals and medical facilities located within 5 km belt on either side of the road, and detailed enumeration is done for hospitals which have over 100 beds and 24×7 Emergency handling facilities. This exercise is undertaken with the objective to upgrade the hospitals to L1/L2 Trauma Care Centres, which is being recommended to the state health department. Along with this, training on first aid trauma care is also being imparted to eligible bystanders (able bodied young/adult from establishments and communities along the roadside) to enable them to be Good Samaritan and assist the accident victims within the golden hour.
All these above mentioned interventions are at various stages of implementation in the 7 States of Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh using the funding from the corporates only. IRF-India Chapter is a not-for profit organisation pursuing the cause of Safe Roads and Safe Mobility in India since 2009. For more on IRF-IC activities visit www.indiairf.com (Contact: A-9A, 3rd Floor, Green Park Main, New Delhi-110016, India, Tel: +91-11-40041435, Email: [email protected]).