Keep our roads safe

08 Jan 2019 / 19:55 H.

    I pose the following questions on road safety to the transport minister.

    1) Has the Ministry of Transport used the right indicator for road safety as part of its KPI? The current indicator of deaths per 10,000 vehicles is improving because of rapid motorisation (increase in denominator) rather than due to a decrease in deaths.

    2) Are we making effective use of resources for data collection? Have alternative solutions for data collection been explored? The number of serious injuries is declining while road deaths have increased (an anomaly).

    3) Has the enforcement by different agencies been synchronised? Currently, each agency seems to have its own priorities. Countries that have done well with road safety coordinate their enforcement.

    4) Has the road safety education of children and campaigns been evaluated in terms of actual (cost) effectiveness? The previous government had spent millions on road safety education of children and media campaigns.

    5) Are our resources for road safety spent in the right way? We have a road safety department in every state and this is unique.

    6) What is the state of the proposed National Transportation Safety Board? How serious is the government to aspire for world class transport safety? Do we have the capacity to set up such an agency? If not, how do we go about developing such a capacity?

    I pose these questions as I have seen governments implement evidence-based interventions and succeed in road safety. Though such solutions exist, many governments choose to ignore the science and implement interventions based on the thoughts or interpretations of individuals.

    Professor Dr Krishnan Rajam



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