Indian highways, city roads may soon have dedicated two-wheeler lanes | India News

By mzaxazm

In a bid to enhance road safety across the nation, the Ministry of Road Transport is formulating an extensive strategy to designate dedicated lanes for two-wheelers on both state highways and urban roads. This initiative also encompasses the construction of pedestrian foot-over bridges (FOBs) or underpasses along major urban arterial roads, reported Times of India (ToI). 

The primary objective is to address traffic non-segregation, which is a significant contributor to the alarming rates of road accidents in India.

Two-wheelers in focus

Insights from government statistics reveal that an alarming 44 per cent of road accidents and subsequent fatalities in India involve two-wheelers.

On the other hand, pedestrians account for 17 per cent of total crashes and a staggering 19 per cent of fatalities. Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), comprising pedestrians, cyclists, and two-wheeler riders, collectively represent more than half of the fatalities resulting from road accidents.

Initiative ‘SAFE’: Prioritising road safety

Under the banner of the ‘SAFE’ initiative, the Ministry has put forth a consultation paper aimed at crafting strategies to mitigate road crashes and fatalities, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding VRUs. Drawing inspiration from successful implementations in countries like Malaysia, which have dedicated corridors for two-wheelers along highways, the proposed strategies aim to segregate traffic and curtail accidents.

Educational emphasis on road safety

The ministry’s proposals include incorporating comprehensive road safety modules into the school curriculum and hosting annual road safety workshops. This initiative is particularly pertinent as statistics indicate that over 50 percent of road accident victims are youth.

A bold vision for safer roads

The scheme’s overarching goal is to effectuate a substantial 70 per cent reduction in accidents and fatalities per 10,000 vehicles, coupled with a 50 per cent reduction per 10,000 km of road length. 

The plan also seeks to improve institutional capabilities, policy frameworks, and financial structures to ensure effective implementation. “The implementation of these interventions will be precise and measurable,” sources told ToI.

Conceptualised as a centrally-sponsored scheme (CSS), the programme commands an estimated expenditure of Rs 14,000 crore. Of this, the central government will fund Rs 9,948 crore, while the states and Union Territories (UTs) will contribute Rs 4,053 crore.

Three-pronged approach to road safety

The scheme adopts a three-fold approach, comprising mandatory initiatives, target-linked interventions, and state road safety ranking interventions. These multifaceted strategies aim to empower states and UTs in prioritising critical issues, fostering grassroots-level best practices, and establishing clear lines of responsibility and accountability.

Furthermore, the plan entails mandatory road safety interventions with phased targets, subject to annual assessment. Incentives will be provided to states and UTs based on their achievement of annual road safety targets, while an annual ranking system will evaluate their progress in reducing road crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

First Published: May 28 2024 | 2:36 PM IST

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