Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

India State Support Programme for Road Safety


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : Road safety issues in India

The World Bank has approved a $250 million loan to support the Government of India’s road safety programme for seven States.

Programme for Road Safety

  • Under this, a single accident reporting number will be set up to better manage post-crash events.
  • It will be implemented in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • The $250 million variable spread loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 18 years, with a grace period of 5.5 years.
  • The project will also establish a national harmonised crash database system in order to analyse accidents and use that to construct better and safer roads.
  • The project will also provide incentives to States to leverage private funding through public private partnership (PPP) concessions and pilot initiatives.

Road accidents in India: Key takeaways

  • The report ‘Road Accidents in India 2020’ released by the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) provides for key stats.
  • India has only 1% of the world’s vehicles but 11% of the global deaths from road accidents occur in India.
  • About 450,000 accidents take place in India annually, of which 150,000 people die.
  • There are 53 road accidents in the country every hour and one death every four minutes.

Why are there so many road fatalities in India alone?

  • Weak enforcement of traffic laws: People hardly oblige to traffic rules and find easier to bribe policemen rather than paying hefty challans.
  • Speeding issue: More accidents on the highways have been attributed to higher vehicle speeds and higher volume of traffic on these roads.
  • Engineering bottlenecks: Issues such as gaps in the median on the national highways, untreated intersections, and missing crash barriers are some of the biggest engineering issues.
  • Behavioural issue: Driver violations such as wrong-side driving, wrong lane usage by heavy vehicles, and mass violation of traffic lights, intoxication are the biggest behavioural issues.
  • Lack of Golden hour treatment: Lack of rapid trauma care on highways leads to such high fatalities.

Imbibing road safety: Way forward

  • Road safety education
  • Better road design, maintenance and warning signage
  • Crackdown on driving under influence of alcohol and drugs
  • Strict enforcement of traffic rules
  • Encouraging better road behaviour
  • Ensuring road worthiness of a vehicle
  • Better first aid and paramedic care

Do you know?

The ‘golden hour’ has been defined as ‘the time period lasting one hour following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing prompt medical care.


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