Global Road Safety Report - UPSC Current Affairs

Global Road Safety Report - UPSC Current Affairs

In today’s edition of our Current Affairs Dialog box, we will discuss Global Road Safety Report. Navigate through the blog to understand the topic in detail and enhance your UPSC Preparation.

Context

Recently, a report on Road Safety was released by the Lancet. Also, the United Nations held a high-level meeting on Global Road Safety on June 30 and July 1, 2022, to review the progress and challenges. 

Findings of the Report

  • Majority of the deaths due to road accidents are due to four reasons: Drunk driving, not using helmet, over speeding and not using seat belt. 
  • The report noted that according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ 2020 report, there were a total of 1,31,714 deaths due to road accidents. 
  • Among total deaths, speeding accounted for 69.3% of deaths (91,239), non-wearing of helmets resulted in 30.1% deaths (39,798) and non-use of seatbelts caused 11.5% of deaths (26,896).

Also Read: National Investigation Agency (NIA)

Following table shows the findings of the report

Global Road Safety Report - UPSC Current Affairs

Recommendations of the Report

  • The report proposes that India and other countries could cut accident-related deaths by 25 to 40% through preventive interventions for four well-known risk factors
  • Steps undertaken to reduce speeding such as infrastructure changes and electronic speed control could save an estimated 3,47,258 lives globally each year.
  • Similarly, measures to tackle drunk driving such as enhanced drink driving enforcement could save a further 16,304 lives. 
  • An estimated 1,21,083 and 51,698 lives could be saved by enforcing rules on wearing seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, respectively
  • Interventions to check speeding could save 20,554 lives in India and promotion of crash helmets could save 5,683 lives. 
  • Encouraging the use of seatbelts can also save 3,204 lives in the country. 

United Nations High-level Meeting on Global Road Safety

The United Nations held a high-level meeting on Global Road Safety on June 30 and July 1, 2022, to review the progress and challenges. 

Observations at the Meeting

  • Each year, 1.3 million people die on the road and 50 million are seriously injured. Road accidents are the leading cause of death in the world among young people aged 5 to 29 years.
  • 90 percent of road traffic deaths occur in the world’s low- and middle-income countries.
  • Many of these deaths could have been avoided as these road fatalities are closely linked to poor infrastructure, unplanned urbanisation, lax social protection and health-care systems and persistent inequalities.

Some of the commitments adopted in Declaration on Road Safety

At the meeting, a Political Declaration on Global Road Safety was adopted by the UN General Assembly with following commitments:

  • To drive the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030, whose goal is to cut road traffic deaths and injuries by half by 2030 and promote sustainable mobility with safety at its core.
  • To promote capacity-building, knowledge-sharing, technical support and technology transfer programmes in the area of road safety, especially in developing countries.
  • To implement a “safe system” approach by adopting policies that foster safe urban and rural road infrastructure design and engineering 
  • To adopt evidence-based good practices for addressing key risk factors, such as the non-use of seat belts, child restraints and helmets, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  
  • To strengthen international cooperation on road safety through the sharing of good practices, successful implementation mechanisms and technical standards.  

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Way Forward

  • The Sundar Committee in 2007 pointed out that India lacked a technically competent investigation arm that could determine the cause of accidents.
  • In India, the Motor Vehicle Act was amended in 2019, but its implementation by State governments is not uniform or complete. 
  • A National Road Safety Board was constituted under the Motor Vehicles Act, with advisory powers to reform safety. 
  • The States’ governments focus on conventional measures with an emphasis on user behaviour (drivers and other road users), education and uneven enforcement. 
  • Emphasis should be placed on structural change as well, such as raising engineering standards for roads, signages, signals, training for scientific accident investigation, and raising policing skills.
  • There is also a need of fixing responsibility on government departments for design, creation and maintenance of road infrastructure.
Additional InformationGlobal Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution for “Improving global road safety” in September 2020.

 In the resolution “the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030” was proclaimed with the ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. 

WHO and the UN regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the UN Road Safety Collaboration developed a Global Plan for the Decade of Action.

The Global Plan aligns with the Stockholm Declaration, by emphasising the importance of a holistic approach to road safety and calling on continued improvements in the design of roads and vehicles; enhancement of laws and law enforcement; and provision of timely, life-saving emergency care for the injured.

The Global Plan also reflects the Stockholm Declaration’s promotion of policies to promote walking, cycling and using public transport as inherently healthy and environmentally sound modes of transport.

Note

The Stockholm Declaration was a declaration on road safety adopted at the ministerial conference held in Sweden in 2020 at the end of the previous or First Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

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