Shimla, Jan. 18 – People must be sensitized about ensuring road safety and obeying traffic rules as almost 90 percent of the road accidents are result of human error. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the inaugural function of National Road Safety Month at the Ridge, here today.
The Chief Minister said that the theme of road safety was related to the life of every human being therefore, organizing National Road Safety Month was very important to sensitize the masses. He said that the state government was committed to make roads safer. The continuous efforts were required to reduce the hazards of road accidents by involving communities and stakeholders in various awareness activities on road safety. He also felt the need for active participation of general public, voluntary organizations, panchayati raj institutions, local bodies and related departments to make this campaign a big success.
Jai Ram Thakur said that special training must be imparted to drivers to make them sensitive regarding road safety especially while driving school buses and professional vehicles so as to bring about changes in their behaviour. The state government had taken several necessary steps for improving the black spots on the roads to mitigate the accidents. The government was taking all necessary measures to conduct awareness campaigns for citizens to sensitize the general public about the safety measures. He said that the Public Works Department and National Highway Authority of India must ensure that the roads were built by ensuring proper gradients and better quality. The authorities must not wait for accident to declare any part of the road as black spot, but act pro-actively to remove the blind curves at the earliest.
The Chief Minister said that along with road safety, there was a need to give special importance to those who help in the event of an accident. The Union government had made a special provision in the Motor Vehicle Act to protect the rights of a Good Smartion. He said that it was usually felt that people do not help the injured person in a road accident because of court or police litigation. The Central Government had amended the Motor Vehicles Act and there would be no inquiry in the hospital from the person who help the injured person in the road accident, nor he would be asked to register his personal information with the police.
Jai Ram Thakur also urged that everyone should make efforts to become a Good Smartian and inspire others to do the same. He said that presently there were 12.75 lakh driving license holders in Himachal Pradesh, including 82,325 women. Special efforts should be made to make them sensitive about road safety and their participation in this campaign should be ensured. The endeavours of the government for road safety were not enough, thus citizens should also cooperate on a large scale to make road safety a social movement, he added.
He also administered oath of ‘Road Safety’ and flagged of cycle rally and publicity van regarding road safety campaign on the occasion.
Later, the Chief Minister honoured HRTC driver Seema Thakur of district Solan and female commercial vehicle driver Poonam Negi of Kinnaur district. He also honoured Good Smartians Manmohan of Kalpa, Rai Singh of Poanta Sahib and Rajender Kumar of Arki for helping the victims of road accidents.
Jai Ram Thakur online transferred Rs. 7500 as prize money to the accounts of the persons honoured on the occasion.
Transport Minister Bikram Singh said that the state government was committed to make roads of the state commuters friendly. He also felt the need for better coordination between the Public Works and Transport Departments for mitigating the road accidents.
Principal Secretary, Transport K.K. Pant detailed various events to be held during the one month long National Road Safety Campaign.