Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
17-November-2011 17:01 IST
Working Groups on Road Safety Submit their Recommendations
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had formed five separate working groups on four E’s of Road Safety viz


The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had formed five separate working groups on four E’s of Road Safety viz. (i) Education (ii) Enforcement (iii) Engineering (roads as well as vehicles) and  (iv) emergency care to lay out the macro and micro dimensions with potential solutions to road safety and to suggest short term and long term measures to curb road accidents  in the country as per the deliberations in the last meeting of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), held on 25th March, 2011,. The Working Groups on  Education,  Engineering (roads) and Engineering (vehicles), Emergency care and Working Group on  Enforcement have already submitted their final reports.  At present the Ministry is examining all the recommendations given by Working Groups. Thereafter these recommendations will be placed before the NRSC  for deliberation  and finalizing a detailed  decadal action plan on road safety  at the national level which could be replicated by all the State Government at state level and district level.

Road safety is a complex issue of national concern, considering its magnitude and gravity and the consequent negative impacts on the economy, public health and the general welfare of the people.  With rising motorization at 10%  compound growth every year  and expanding road network, travel risks and traffic exposure are growing at a much faster rate.  Today, road traffic injuries are one of the leading causes of deaths, disabilities and hospitalizations, with severe socioeconomic costs, across the world. During the year 2009, there were around 4.9 lakh road accidents, which resulted in deaths of 1,25,660 people and injured more than 5 lakh persons in India.  These numbers translate into one road accident every minute, and one road accident death every four minutes, for India. Our country has reported the highest number of road fatalities amongst all countries in the World. While developed countries through well planned road safety programmes with a dedicated nodal agency for road safety have  succeeded in bringing down their accident rates, on the other hand India’s accident rate and fatalities  is showing an increasing trend which is a matter of great concern.

Road traffic injuries in 2004 was the 9th leading cause of death and at the current rates by 2030 is expected to be the 5th leading cause of death  overtaking diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The  loss to the Indian economy due to fatalities and accident injuries is estimated at 3% of GDP and is particularly severe as 52.7%  of road accident victims are in the age group of 25 to 65 years with pedestrians , bicycle and two wheelers  who comprise the most unprotected road users accounting for around 39% of all fatalities.

The United Nations has rightly proclaimed the present decade as decade of action on road safety and have called upon all member countries to prepare a decadal action plan for implementation in their respective countries so that the present rising trend on road accident  stabilizes and is revered by the year 2020 .

Some of the important recommendations of these working groups are enclosed herewith.


·                  The number of road accidents and fatalities should be reduced to half in the year 2020 with base year 2010 per 10,000 vehicles population. A Comprehensive Plan of Action on the lines of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to bring down the road accidents entailing all the Working Groups on the 4 Es would be needed. 


·                     A National Road Safety Policy and supporting laws to be formulated.


·                     The NRSC should convene more frequently, leading to better policymaking, programme implementation, and monitoring. 


·                     State and District Road Safety Councils need to be constituted/activated at the State level.  These Councils would have representatives from all stake-holders. This is a ubiquitous problem and needs to be legislated and compliance reporting system should be included.



·                     50 percent of all fines collected should be devoted to road safety activities, which should be legislated so that it becomes mandatory for States to adopt.


·                     A separate Road Safety Education and Awareness Fund needs to be created, which would be solely used for this purpose, in partnership with the government, corporate, voluntary organisations, etc. 


·                     The MV Act needs to be amended to ensure that the Road Safety Awareness Fund is created at the Centre and in all States.


·                     All firms involved with roads should be encouraged to undertake Corporate Social Responsibility activities relating to road safety. 


·                     Insurance laws should also be modified so that the person who causes the accident has to bear a certain proportion of insurance claim, depending on severity of negligence. The laws should provide higher compensation to the injured (as against to the next of kin of the dead) who get disabled for life and become a burden on the society and their families.


·                     Road safety policy is needed for all large fleet owners, such as firms, State Road Transport Undertakings, tour operators, etc.  


·                     Introduce refresher trainings and eliminate fake certificates to promote quality driving parameters of model drivers’ training schools and other training institutes under PPP model.




·                     All National and State Highways should have signages and road markings as per IRC Standard.


·                     Road Safety Audit  for entire National Highways and State Highways network to be completed including capacity building for Safety Auditors such as developing  training course content , indentifying institutions and imparting training


·         Review of Standards / Guidelines & Evolving New Guidelines with safety focus for NHs and SHs and developing Manuals on Traffic Control Devices

·                     Implementation of other road safety engineering measures like Speed management measures, provision of service roads, provision of pedestrians/cattle crossings, improvements of inter-State border check posts on NHs, provision of truck lay  bays along NHs and provision of bus bays, bus shelter along NHs and  Closure of unauthorized median openings

·                     Engineers involved in planning, design, construction and operation of highways to be trained in road safety including development of Training Modules, Identification of Training in Engineering measures


·                     Thrust on Research on road safety including  setting up few Centres of Excellence.


·                     Accident analysis for corrective actions.



·         Requirements related to passive safety, active safety and general safety  to be introduced in a planned manner.


·         Major improvements in vehicle designs are required with introduction of full vehicle crash tests, EMC and high technology solutions for better visibility.


·         Enhancement of standards related to vehicle stability and braking should be implemented. Standardization of bus bodies, truck bodies and trailers would greatly enhance road safety.


·          To address other areas like construction equipment vehicles, hydraulic trailers, ITS, inspection and testing rules for inuse vehicles, End of Life Vehicle, etc.


·          Introduce mandatory Inspection and Certification (I&C) requirements for all categories of vehicle (Transport vehicles as well as nontransport vehicles, including 2 wheelers).


·          Establish computerized I&C Centers all across the country.


·          Define policies and procedures for End of Life and scrapping of unusable vehicles.


·         Establish control mechanism for use of spurious parts in the aftermarket by covering more and more components under mandatory marking scheme.


·          Establish comprehensive Road Accident Data Analysis


·         Develop strategic alliances with international organizations/ experts


·         For effective planning and execution, there should be National Accident Research Center (mother organization) and data collection at State Accident Research Centers (daughter organizations). Department of Heavy Industry has already planned Accident Research Center under NATRiP. Center under NATRiP needs to be considered while making future plans.


·         Effective use of IT & Electronics for vehicleroad interfaces and transport management


·          Support research activity in vehicle engineering and regulations




·      Review & Audit of the Existing Schemes such as National Highway Trauma Care Project (NHTCP,) National Highways Accident Relief Services Scheme (NHARSS) Incident Management System (IMS) –NHAI, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System


·      Enunciate a National Accident Relief Policy & a National Trauma System Plan.


·      Deployment of a Pan-India Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Care Network to ensure a primary crash response time of 8 – 10 mins. This network should be adequately supported by a unified toll free number, seamless communication, centralized dispatch, medical direction, triage protocols & crash rescue units.


·       To verify & designate the existing healthcare facilities along the Highways and upgrade those found deficient to minimum defined levels & to plan for new facilities where there is a deficit so as to ensure the availability of one emergency care facility at every 50km along the national highways.


·      Plan for seamless networking amongst health facilities, rescue services, existing fleet of ambulances, etc.


·      Capacity building and regular training in EMS to all involved in trauma care supplemented by training in First Aid to the public


·       Setting up of Regional Referral Trauma Centers across the country supported by a Heli-Ambulance network to ensure speedy care to the severely injured


·       Plan for rehabilitation centres for the trauma care victims


·       Standardize minimum national specifications for various types of Emergency Response Vehicles




·         Amendment of Motor Vehicles Act 1988: The penalty structure of 1988 Act has become totally redundant and the fines are not a deterrence for traffic rule violators.  As recommended by the Committee to review of Motor Vehicles Act, the Working Group has suggested to increase penalties and fines for traffic offences. While revising the penalties for traffic offences, a clause needs to be inserted in the Amendment Act itself that every three years there should be revision of fine based on consumer price index.


·         Overloading of Commercial Vehicles: The commercial vehicle, if found overloaded should be prosecuted with mandatory criminal case under the provisions of Damage to Public Property Act against the transporter, the consignor and the consignee.  As per Motor Vehicles Act provisions and rules, police is not empowered to check overloading as Transport Department is the only competent agency to check overloading.  All state police forces need to be empowered to check overloading and for this a large number of weighing machines should be installed so that no overloading takes place. 

·         Use of Road Safety Devices like Helmet, Seat Belt: At present, some state governments have not enforced wearing of helmet and in some states women have been exempted from wearing helmets.  The Committee has recommended that there must be no exemption in wearing of helmet and awareness should be created that helmet should be properly strapped by the road users Similarly, wearing of seat belt should be compulsory for the driver and the front passenger and on national highways it should be compulsory for even the passengers in the back seat.


·         Drunken Driving: According to Section 185 of Motor Vehicle Act, the penalty for violation of this rule is punishable with a fine of Rs. 2,000 or 6 months imprisonment or both for the first offence.  All enforcement agencies may impress upon the courts of the concerned cities/states that in graver cases of drunken driving, imprisonment must be provided to discourage drunken driving.  There is also a provision under Motor Vehicle Act under Section 20 that if there is conviction under Section 185, the driving licence of the offender must be suspended. Similarly, databases should be created by all the state police forces and Transport department to ensure enhanced punishment for drunken driving where the second or subsequent offence.

·         Database of all Traffic Violations:  At present, there is no interlinked data base for recording of traffic violations by drivers of the vehicles.  There is urgent need that data base should be created for every vehicle, every driver and every offence for interlinking the habitual offender and there being enhanced punishments for second and subsequent offences.


·         Strict checking of overcrowded passenger vehicles:  All Transport and Traffic Police have to come down heavily on overloading of passenger vehicles.  The Committee was of the view that in case of overloading of passenger vehicles, there should be provision of cancellation of permit of commercial passenger vehicles so that this compromise of road safety does not takes place.  Presently, there is a provision of fine which is not a deterrence for checking of overloading of passenger vehicles.


·                     Improvement of Road Engineering:  It must be made mandatory for all concerned departments to inspect the roads where frequent accidents are happening. There should be compulsory inspection by Transport Department officials, Traffic Police, local police, road maintaining agency officials of scenes of multiple deaths or multiple accidents on particular stretches of roads to effective improve road engineering on these stretches.


·                     Use of Technology for interacting with road users:   Every city police should start interacting with road users through social  networking  sites like  Face book.  Similarly, sharing of information through facilities like SMS alert service, 24x7 helpline can be effective instrument for improvement in road safety.


·                     Issuance of driving licences:  There is an urgent need to have a comprehensive test of the skills of applicants before driving licence of any category is issued to the applicant.  It is suggested by the Committee that the Transport Department of all states must encourage establishing a large number of training institutes which can impart basic training for drivers before the applicant comes for driving licence.


·                     Digitization of Driving Licenses: There is urgent need of linking up of transport authorities to ensure that no person is able to get a driving licence from more than one authority.  There is also need of digitization of the existing driving licence holders.  This is also necessary because when driving licence of a defaulter in traffic offence is suspended he should not be able to get driving licence from any other transport authority. 


·                     Issuance of fitness certificate by Transport Authorities:  It has been felt by Committee that a large number of accidents on roads happen because many of the commercial vehicles are not in good condition.   It has been felt that fitness certificate for commercial vehicles are being issued in a routine and there should be stringent checks of commercial vehicles before fitness certificate is issued to the vehicle. Stringent fitness certificate issuance will ensure enhanced road safety.

·                     Modernization of Traffic Management System in cities:  The Committee was of the view that with the introduction of latest technology in traffic management like CCTVs, speed cameras, red light cameras, Variable Messaging, video analytics and other systems of intelligent traffic system, we can reduce dependence on manpower and can have an effective traffic management system. 

·                     Speed Calming measures on Highways near inhabited areas:  During construction of highways, there should be sufficient provision of crossover for pedestrians and sufficient safety devices like central verge, railing, grills on both sides of the highways.  There is also need for speed calming measures like table top speed breakers, rumbler strips on highways particularly on vulnerable locations so that vehicles slow down at appropriate places.


·                     Wayside amenities for long distance drivers:  There is urgent need to establish these amenities on roadsides at national and other highways because accidents generally happen due to fatigue and over work.  Transporters need to be educated to have a reasonable schedule of movement of vehicle which will not force drivers to drive long hours without sleep and rest.  


·                     Compulsory installation of GPS in Commercial Vehicles:   There should be compulsory GPS devise installation in all commercial vehicles. 


·                     Part of fine being made available for Road Safety Improvement :  Many members of the Committee was of the view that the part of fine collected by the Traffic Police for traffic violations should become available to them for effective road safety improvement in  the areas like education to students, road users and other stakeholders.


·    Apex Road Safety Body at the State and District Level: There is urgent need that a state level road safety committee headed by a senior functionary of government and should have representative from all stakeholders so that road safety scenario is reviewed periodically.  Similarly, there should be District Level Road Safety Committee having members from all concerned units to review safety scenario in the District.  There should be compulsory meeting of these Committees and issues must be discussed threadbare.


Sanjay Kumar/kd