Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said the government will take steps to ensure road crash fatalities and injuries are halved five years ahead of WHO’s deadline of 2030.

He said 1.5 lakh people die and more than 4.5 lakh are injured in 4.5 crore accidents every year in our country, Mr. Gadkari said.

Enumerating the steps taken by his Ministry, he said the first Chairman of the empowered Road Safety Council will be appointed in a week. He was speaking at the launch of a webinar series on safety being held by the International Road Federation.

The Minister also lauded Tamil Nadu for successfully reducing accidents by 38% and fatalities by 54% and urged States to follow its model.

“The Tamil Nadu model is very important. With the co-operation of the World Bank it has achieved its goal of curbing accidents. Why can’t other States achieve this goal. I urge States from the core of my heart to study and follow the example of Tamil Nadu to reduce road accidents.”

The government has proposed a ₹14,000-crore State support programme to give incentives to State governments for improving safety. Half of the fund comes from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank and the rest from the Central government.

The Ministry has finalised guidelines and is working to identify more than 5,000 blackspots on highway network, which will be completed by September.

The Minister proposed collaborations with IITs for conducting safety audits as these were “the best way to correct road deficiencies to reduce accidents”. He lamented the poor quality of the Detailed Project Reports submitted by road developers and said there was a need for third-party audit as well to mitigate crashes.