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Every Life matters -"India Vision Zero"

Over 1,50,785 people died in road accident in recent years in India, which represent a 3.2% rise over the previous year. In 2017 1.47 lakh people died in road deaths in India, which is equivalent to the entire population of Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.
Every year, over a lakh die as a result of road crashes and the proportion of those who get injured is nearly three to four times higher.

To promote occupational safety and health ‘international vision zero conference'  held in Mumbai on 18th February. 

What is India Vision Zero?

India Vision Zero is a road safety forum to deliberate on challenges, opportunities, and solutions towards reducing road traffic fatalities in India.

The conference provides a forum for promoting safety and health at work by exchanging knowledge, practices and experience.

The conference has been organized by – Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour institutes, Ministry of Labour and Employment, German Social Accident Insurance.

Conference Aim

The concept of ‘VISION ZERO’ aims to focus on the occupational safety and health challenges and issues in the manufacturing construction, mining and chemical sector. During the conference, experts in the field of occupational safety and health reinforce and build networks and alliances while laying the groundwork for cooperation and strengthening relationships.

International Labour Organization Data

According to ILO estimates, every year, 250 million accidents occur at workplace, the equivalent of 685,000 accidents every day, 475 accidents every minute, 8 accidents every second. ILO estimates further show that the fatality rate in advanced industrialized economies is almost half that of central and Eastern Europe, china and India.

Vision Zero Concept

Considering health as being the highest good of man, the primary focus should be maintaining human health by all possible means. A reliable method for maintain human health is to invest in the prevention of health hazards. 

At the same time investing in prevention helps to avoid much higher costs caused by occupational accidents, occupational diseases, and the lost working time and can also be regarded as a key competitive factor, thus, prevention contributes to sustainable success of the companies as well as the preservation of employability of people.

Several countries have adopted a vision approach towards road safety, inspired by the concept that irrigated in Sweden in 1997, when their government approved a bold objective of reducing road fatalities by 50% by 2020, and achieving zero road fatalities by 2050. 

The vision zero approach is based on the principal that human life must take priority over all other traffic challenges, such as congestion, speed, and road capacity. 

Vision zero departs from conventional road safety thinking by advocating a joint responsibility for safety between road users and the road and traffic authorities, it accepts that to some extent, human error is unavoidable, and the transportation systems need to be designed to ensure that such errors do not result in fatalities.

Indian Government’s attempts to strengthen road legislation

Over the last few years, the India government has made a number of attempts to strengthen road legislation. The union cabinet approved amendments to the 1988 Motor Vehicle Act. Many of these amendments are aimed at empowering the national, state, and local governments to strengthen institutional mechanisms, and initiate comprehensive road safety strategies.

India Vision Zero aims to complement this initiative so that representatives from centre, states and cities, along with other stakeholders, such as civil society, media, technocrats, and sector experts, can come together to discuss ideas, strategies, and concerns, and present these to the national government in order to influence policy and legislation. 

Accordingly, India Vision Zero aims to create a coalition of informed and committed stakeholders that can lead the way towards road safety in the country.

What are the challenges?

Poor quality of roads and highways are the one of the major cause of the accidents. Mostly highways and national are designed with two lanes. Road condition remains hazardous due to poor engineering. In rural areas roads are poor in quality, and state governments have failed to inspect the conditions of the roads.

Growth in traffic has been recorded over the past few years. Especially in metro cities 80% of the population uses own vehicles.
Accidents occurs due to careless driving, consuming alcohol is another reasons deaths.

Preventive measures
There are certain guidelines issued by health ministry not to sell alcohol less than 100meter of every highway.

Sunder committee report recommends creation of national road safety and management. Government should acknowledge the recommendations of the committee to monitor the various problems like road engineering, traffic laws, medical care rehabilitation etc...

India needs strict law on road safety to prevent accident and fatalities. Anyone who breaks the rule should be punished with penalty charges. NGO's can create awareness and be helpful in preventing accidents.