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Making streets safe for all: Delhi govt launches six-month online campaign on road safety

A number of important conversations revolving around road safety were taken up at the summit, with officials and experts sharing the stage.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
October 1, 2021 8:22:39 pm
The campaign was launched by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot at the Road Safety Summit on Friday morning.(Photo: Twitter@kgahlot)

In an attempt to reduce the number of deaths on the streets, the Transport Department has launched a social media campaign, #SadakSurakshitDilliSurakshit. It is aimed at generating online conversations and awareness on four risk factors – speeding, drunk driving, wearing helmets and seatbelts.

A collaboration between the Delhi government and the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, the campaign was launched by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot at the Road Safety Summit on Friday morning. Over the next six months, @delhiroadsafety will raise awareness on Facebook and Twitter.

“The roads belong to pedestrians as much as they belong to people in vehicles. Through our campaign, we hope to increase awareness about evidence-based best practices in road safety and ensure Delhi roads are safer for all road users. Through the Delhi government’s partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, we aim to reduce these deaths on the streets of Delhi and hope to build an ecosystem where we do not tolerate any loss of life on our streets,” said Gahlot.

A number of important conversations revolving around road safety were taken up at the summit, with officials and experts sharing the stage.

They said that last year, 1,196 persons were killed while 3,662 persons were left injured in road crashes in the city. They spoke about how deaths and injuries are preventable by means of safer street designs, changes in behaviour supported by strategic communication and enforcement of traffic laws and use of high-quality data for strengthening road safety policies.

A Road Safety Action Plan was presented by Deepak Kumar IAS, Special Commissioner, Road Safety, Transport Department. In his presentation, he spoke about how there has been a 42 per cent decline in accidents over the last decade. Their vision for 2030 is to prevent 50 per cent road traffic deaths and injuries. This can be done by structural intervention, engaging stakeholders, technological intervention, road safety partnerships and regulatory approach.

Structural intervention would include identifying blackspots, creating safe school zones, pedestrian-friendly streetscaping and lane disciplining. At present, 20 blackspots have been identified in the city. He elaborated that implementing an Integrated Road Accident Database (an application to record and manage crash data) would help. Further, he said that Delhi has been treating driving as a life skill and as a first of its kind in the world, automated driving tracks are being set up in educational institutes.

A panel discussion on how Delhi can prevent 50 per cent fatal crashes was held. Experts also discussed the need to create more safe school zones as a number of government school students in the city walk to school and they perceive speeding as a threat. A pilot project has been taken up around a government school in Vasant Kunj and more such projects will be taken up soon.

Another panel discussion regarding the role of citizen groups in supporting the government’s efforts to prevent crashes was discussed. Officials also stressed on the redevelopment of 540 km stretch of roads, which will make a huge part of the city more pedestrian-friendly.

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