Govt will bring down accidents by 50% by 2020: minister

Govt will bring down accidents by 50% by 2020: minister

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said the fatality rate on Indian roads was more than that of some wars and the government has targeted bringing down accidents by 50% by 2020.

The minister said there were more than 1.7 crore vehicles in Karnataka, most of them in urban centres, putting pressure on infrastructure.

“About 12 lakh new vehicles were registered in Bengaluru over the past three-and-a-half years. This trend will only make traffic snarls worse,” he said, adding that the best efforts of the government will prove effective only when the public too join in ensuring road safety.

Asked whether the state government has considered Delhi’s ‘odd-even’ experiment, the minister said it won’t help in decongesting traffic. “We have to think of a long-term solution. More people should switch to public transport.’’

Kannada film star Shivarajkumar narrated an incident from his life to stress on the importance of decongesting roads. “An ambulance carrying me was stuck in traffic for hours. I was suffering from chest pain. Had the ambulance been delayed for some more time, I would not have been standing here today,” he said.

The actor appealed to people to follow traffic rules. “We do not know how life ends. But let us not chase death on the road,” he said.

The state transport ministry is keen on setting up a Road Safety Authority (RSA), a single body which will monitor, enforce and mobilise resources to ensure safety. “We will request the chief minister to make an announcement in this regard in the budget,” Principal Secretary of Transport Department B Basavaraju said.

“The transport minister is keen on this authority. The plan is still in the initial stage,” Basavaraju told DH.

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