Need to make travel safer by improved road design, six airbags, and seat belts: Nitin Gadkari

The centre is working on making safer highways by bettering road design, mandatory six airbags in cars, and improving seat belt compliance said Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. His comments come a day after former Tata Sons Chairman, Cyrus Mistry‘s death in a road accident on the way to Mumbai.

“The accident of Cyrus Mistry is very unfortunate and he was a very good friend of mine. It is a great shock to the country. The problem is that every year we have 5 lakh accidents and one lakh deaths in the country,” Gadkari said while speaking at the IAA’s Global Summit in the national capital.

“This Ahmedabad-Mumbai highway is very dangerous. I have completed the work of that highway. The present Passenger Car (PC) use more than 1.25 lakh,” he added.

Gadkari said that theoretical, there is a need to develop a six lane highways after 20,000 PC use. But the current use is very high and that the centre has just started a new vision of making multi lane flyovers.

He said that focus has also been on improving vehicle safety. “We have taken a lot of decisions by mandating six airbags in cars and are in the process of making a law for that.”

“A lot our companies are exporting their vehicles from India with six air bags. But when the same vehicles are sold in India, they have just four air bags. Is there no value of life for the people of our country,” he pointed out.

According to Gadkari, the argument that cost of airbags is a hindrance does not hold merit. “There will be no compromise regarding international standards and successful practises regarding road safety,” he said.

The Minister noted that faulty road engineering needs to be addressed as well. “The DPR of the roads are defective, so we have taken a lot of strict action now. We are taking a lot of decisions related to the curves and identifying black spots,” he said.

Commenting on seat belt compliance, Gadkari said, “I have travelled with Chief Ministers of four different states in the last one year. All of their drivers had clips installed in the cars that subverted the seat belt alarms in their cars. I have now issued an order that bans the manufacture and use of these clips that subvert the seat belt alarms.”

“Here we need cooperation from the people,” he said adding, “People sitting at the back also need to wear seat belts. The mindset needs to change,”

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