The government is working to build helipads on wayside amenities at expressways to reduce road fatalities, said Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Civil Aviation Gen. VK Singh (Retd).
According to the minister, it is part of a series of steps being taken to reduce the number of road accidents in the country and was working on a plan to place ambulances at various highway tolls to provide emergency care.
“We are trying to create helipads in each one of our wayside amenities that are coming up along the expressways. It will have a helipad facility and hospitals can set up trauma centre at these locations,” he said.
Addressing the conference on Role of Corporates in Road Safety 2022, organised by FICCI, Gen. Singh stated that currently the government has placed ambulances at each toll plazas on highways but there is still more which needs to be done in this area.
“This is one area where corporates play an important role to find more solutions so that we can save more lives. Eleven percent of world accidents happen in India, and we need to work to bring down the number of road accidents to two lakh per year from current 5 lakh. This can be rectified and brought down if all stakeholders work together,” he stated.
The minister pointed out that most the road accidents happen because of the fault of others and there was, despite of all the efforts made, very less enforcement of the awareness on road safety. “We all need to come together including the government, corporates and NGO to increase the awareness,” he added. He also pointed out that the government had taken a series of steps which included adopting international standards for airbags used in cars.
“We recently have issued a notification that just two airbags will not suffice and there have to be six airbags in the cars. The auto companies need to follow the same standards as the rest of the world follows. Life is not cheap in India,” he asserted. Gen. Singh further emphasised on the need to create an ecosystem for safety, and this included the transport sector, drivers, driving schools, etc.
“We have mandated that good driving schools should come up in each state and especially in areas which are in the backward region. These schools will be equipped with all modern gadgets so that it also creates job opportunities in the area. We are providing financial assistance in setting up the schools and the effort is to reduce the number of road accidents,” he highlighted.