General Assembly General Assembly

75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Agenda item 12: Improving global road safety

 

India Statement

By

Mr. Ashish Sharma, First Secretary

 

 

Mr. President

 

India welcomes the opportunity to participate in this debate on the important issue of global road safety. We would like to thank the delegations of the Russian Federation and Côte d'Ivoire for their efforts and work in presenting the draft resolution (A/75/L.109) before us.

 

We welcome the decision of organizing a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on improving global road safety next year in New York and look forward to adopting the draft resolution on the scope, modalities and format of the high-level meeting.

 

We believe that the meeting will be an important platform to further accelerate our efforts in improving global road safety including supporting developing countries to build capacities and providing them financial and technical support for their efforts.

 

Mr. President

 

The issue of road safety has direct and important link not only to public health but also to economic and social development as reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals particularly SDGs 3 and 11.

 

India attaches great importance to addressing the problem of road safety and to reducing the adverse consequences of traffic accidents. As a developing country, India’s economic growth lies in part upon the rapid expansion of our infrastructure, including roads. Therefore, we are acutely conscious of the imperative to address road safety and reduce the adverse consequences of traffic accidents.

 

The Government of India is actively engaged in efforts to enhance road safety through a multifaceted approach. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is the nodal body entrusted with responsibility for formulating policies for road safety. Various initiatives being implemented include grants-in-aid to NGOs for organizing road safety programmes and creating awareness, a national highway accident relief service scheme, refresher training for heavy vehicle drivers and the setting up of model driving training schools. Awards have also been instituted at various levels to recognize important contributions made to road safety.

 

Mr. President

 

India is restructuring and strengthening 4E’s of road safety i.e. Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency Care Services. This includes better and safer road engineering, more effective legislation, improved vehicular safety standards, training of drivers, improved trauma care and generating public awareness. It is also mandatory to carry out Road Safety Audit for all roads projects.

 

The recent enactment of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 is an important step towards improvement of total road safety ecosystem. The law includes high penalties for traffic violation, digitalization of documents, vehicle safety standards, sustainable public transport, insurances-based reforms and use of information technology-based enforcement system.

 

In line with the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the Government of India issued detailed guidelines to protect a bystander who provides assistance to road accident victims, also referred as good Samaritan.

 

Recognizing the important role played by the civil society in improving road safety particularly through awareness programmes, the Government works closely with relevant civil society organisations and provides support to them. Last year, the Government provided financial assistance to more than 300 NGOs for road safety advocacy programmes.

 

Mr. President

 

We strongly support the efforts to increase cooperation at the national, regional and global levels for achieving the objectives of road safety.

 

In 2017, India hosted the forum of ministers of transport in cooperation with the International Road Federation in New Delhi. The forum culminated in the signing of the Delhi Declaration, in which key road safety measures, including the importance of international legal instruments, capacity-building, road infrastructure safety standards and the need to mobilize funding, were stressed.

 

India had committed to reduce 50% accident death by 2030 at the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm in February 2020.

 

We firmly believe that international cooperation is imperative in assisting developing countries to effectively address issues of road safety. Availability of adequate financial resources, technical assistance, capacity building, sharing of best practices and advocacy are crucial in this regard.

 

I thank you