Nitin Gadkari leaves for Brazil to attend conference on road safety

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari Minister on Sunday left for Brazil to attend the two-day global conference in Brazil on road safety.

The 2nd High Level Global Conference on Traffic Safety Time of Results, is being held in the capital city Brasilia on November 18 and 19, an official statement said. It is slated to be one of the most important discussions in the world on traffic safety and aims to reaffirm the international community’s commitment towards reduction of traffic accidents that are responsible for 1.2 million fatalities every year, the statement added. One of the major objectives of the event is to review the progress made by countries in implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

The plan aims to save five million lives worldwide through the adoption of policies, programmes, actions and legislations to increase safety on the roads especially for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety was held in Russia in 2009. Thereafter, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution for “Improving Global Road Safety”, in 2014. The forthcoming Brazil conference emerges from the UN resolution. The resolution expresses a concern about the fact that only 7 per cent of the global population is protected by appropriate traffic laws, which provides mandatory use of helmets, seat belts and protective devices for children among other norms.

According to WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, 35 countries, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the world population, have passed laws tackling one or more of the five key-factors of risk between 2008 and 2011. However the number of countries with comprehensive legislation about all five key-factors of risk remained constant at 28 (representing 7 per cent of the world population, or 449 million people) since the last WHO report in 2009.

The goal of the Global Plan is that, at the end of the Decade of Action, the number of countries with comprehensive legislation on the subject increase by 50 per cent.

Led by the WHO, the conference aims to strengthen the commitment of the international community around policies, legislations, measures and actions that can halt the factors that cause 1.2 million deaths worldwide and physical trauma to another 30 to 50 million people due to traffic accidents every year. The fatalities primarily affect children and young people from 5 to 29 years and young men are the main victims.

India, along with host country Brazil is one of the Friends of the Decade of Action for Road Safety – an informal group committed to the success of the global plan.