Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav unveiled the State Road Safety Policy here Monday, saying that it will go a long way in checking road accidents and hence, saving lives in the state.
The thrust of the policy would be on spreading awareness about road safety. New Zealand would assist the state with regards to innovative use of public messaging, especially through social media, and improving collection and analysis of crash data.
“The highest number of accidents take place in India. And since Uttar Pradesh is home to a large number of people, there is a huge potential here for saving lives with the implementation of this policy,” the CM said.
As per National Crime Record Bureau, UP saw about 24,000 cases of road accidents and about 15,000 deaths due to road accidents in 2012.
A Rs 100-crore Road Safety Fund, supported by an annual contribution of Rs 50 by the World Bank for the next five years, has also been created to ensure sustainable funding of Road Safety Action Plan. A State Road Safety Council with the CM as its president has also been constituted. This council will be responsible for making key decisions for improving road safety through various means.
A high-level Empowered Committee under Chief Secretary would monitor the management of the Road Safety Fund and ensure implementation of directives of the Road Safety Council. A Road Safety Cell under the Transport department would oversee the implementation of the policy.
The Transport department would be assisted by Health, Police and PWD departments. The Health department has envisaged setting up a Highway Trauma Care Centre which would classify the severity of accidents and ensure emergency medical assistance.
The policy proposed to set up a Highway Police on a pilot basis at NH 25 (Lucknow-Kanpur) and NH 2 corridors passing through the state. A Road Accident Database, Road Accident Data Management System and Accident Compensation Commission have also been recommended.
Recounting anecdotes, Yadav highlighted how accidents ruin homes and affect families financially and mentally. The ceremony was attended by senior government officials, including state Transport Minister Durga Prasad Yadav, Health Minister Ahmad Hasan, Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan, New Zealand High Commissioner Grahame Morton, World Bank Transport Sector Manager for South Asia Karla Gonzalez Carvajal and top officials from Health, PWD and Transport departments.
Not the first to implement policy
At the launch of the Road Safety Policy here, numerous speakers, including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, claimed that UP was the first state to unveil such a policy. However, Tamil Nadu was the first to announce a Road Safety Policy in 2007. As per World Bank figures, this policy and subsequent measures towards road safety “brought down the number of accident fatalities in Tamil Nadu from 13.39 for every 10,000 vehicles in 2006 to 10.09 in 2010, exceeding the targets set by the state”.
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