Promoting safe driving, encouraging good road behaviour, education, awareness, building an ecosystem that supports road safety, and offering discounts and incentives to drivers who fully comply with the traffic rules are key to reducing road accidents in the country, say experts.
Akhilesh Srivastava, project head of road safety, World Economic Forum, While speaking at a webinar ‘ Role of stakeholders in creating awareness for road safety’ organised by the International Road Federation – India Chapter (IRF-IC), said, “In India, most of the road accidents take place due to human errors like overspeeding, fatigue, stress and poor driving skills, the majority of which can be easily controlled with technology, education awareness and incentivising or rewarding the drivers for their good driving behaviours. The award has more positive impact than penalising them.”
“Incentivising drivers through assessing drivers’ behaviour through a set of performance indicators can enable the delivery of new “Earn-How-You-Drive” plan can become popular worldwide and help improve road safety overall,” said Srivastava.
“About 80 percent of road traffic in the country is of two-wheelers mostly motorised and pedestrians but none of the roads is designed for them by the stakeholders including road-making agencies in the country. No enforcement rules are effective for these vulnerable road users in the country. The enforcement agencies are only visible or effective during rush hours from 9.00 AM till 6.00 PM. The enforcement should be 24X7 if not manually through electronic traffic control devices” said PK Sikday, Advisor, International Road Federation- India chapter while speaking at the webinar.
“The national road safety stakeholders especially the road-making agencies need to construct zero fatality corridors as roads have to be safe. We need technology to build safer roads to assist drivers and systems in vehicles to prevent accidents apart from the advanced traffic management system on roads for better enforcement.” Said Professor Manorranjan Parida, Director, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) speaking on the occasion.
“Digital technologies are making quick inroads in the road safety sector, with the support of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help check fatigue, and drowsiness of drivers and give them real alerts which help in saving lots of accidents. Apart from alerts, these digital technologies can help track driver behaviour like speeding, sudden braking, fuel saving, overtime driving etc. This can help in rewarding the drivers “ said Jehaan Kotwal, Director, Goodmind, a non-government body working for the safety of truck drivers.
Others who were present on the occasion included Rajni Gandhi, General Secretary, TRAX road safety NGO, Vandana Lakhanpal, Founder, Prabhav Foundation and Somenath Ghosh, a road safety expert.