The state could see a reduction in road traffic fatalities and injuries through better road safety management and institutional reform in addition to results-oriented interventions on high-risk roads.
The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved funding for India’s US$250 million Road Safety Support Program. The program will be implemented in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. In addition to improving road safety management, the program envisages strengthening emergency medical and rehabilitation services for post-crash care.
The project aims to establish a harmonized national accident database system, the analysis of which would be used to build better and safer roads to reduce road accidents. Although the number of accidents in the state has decreased, it continues to be high.
According to Department of Transportation data, the state experienced 19,164 traffic accidents between January and December 2020, resulting in 6,668 fatalities and injuries to 18,745 people. This figure was lower than the 21,588 accidents reported in 2019, which left 6,800 dead and 22,265 injured. The number was a little higher in 2018 with 22,630 accidents causing 6,603 deaths and 23,613 injuries.
The Bank said road safety interventions faced a unique challenge in the country, as management was spread across different levels of government. The project would focus on strengthening and streamlining the management capacities of road safety lead agencies in participating states.
While women bore the indirect burden of road accidents, the project placed particular emphasis on gender and promoted the representation of women in management roles in the road safety sector, the bank said, adding that it would provide job opportunities for women, especially in post-crash care command and control centers. The project would also encourage states to leverage private finance through public-private partnership concessions and pilot initiatives.