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ArriveSAFE is a project to preserve human life to make people get back home safe because unsafe roads can kill or maim…

We are an Indian NGO working on Road Safety and Sustainable Transportation. We are contributing in the drafting of Road Transport and Safety Bill, advocating to get the existing policies implemented, and to get rules and acts enforced. ArriveSAFE is working to get the Excise Policies amended and implemented to reduce available of liquor near highways.

We are also working to increase knowledge level of new road users through easy-to-understand road safety manuals, by conducting reason based awareness campaigns on key risk factors like Drunken Driving and Speeding etc.

The High Courts of Punjab & Haryana and Rajasthan ordered closure of liquor shops along national highways. ArriveSAFE had filed PILs the High Courts. | 10% road crashes after removal of liquor vends from highways. | Hon’ble Justice Rajan Gupta, Punjab & Haryana High Court release India’s first Road Safety Manual – your guide to driving | RS10 Project – Control drunken driving through awareness campaigns and advocating for strict enforcement | Obtained more than 40,000 signatures for #SaveKidsLives campaign

Road Safety News

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Member: Committees of Road Safety & Design, Transport Planning and Traffic Engineering of the Indian Road Congress

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Member: Road Safety Councils of Punjab & Chandigarh

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Member: Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety

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Round Table Discussions on “Road Map to Road Safety and Public Health” at KGMC, Lucknow

Gave a talk on “Developing innovative road safety programs” and participate in the deliberations organised by the Indian Council of Medical Research in a round table discussion on “Road Map to Road Safety and Public Health” on October 18th, 2014 in King George Medical College, Lucknow. Recently the Health Ministry has decided to incorporate suggestions to improve road safety measures in the National Health Policy.

This is coinciding with the Indo-US emergency summit 2014 which is being held there during 15-19, October 2014.

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ArriveSAFE steps up efforts for stricter enforcement on driving and driving

After getting Liquor Shops removed from the National Highways, we have now started working on getting the Enforcement on Drinking and Driving enhanced in the States of Punjab and Haryana. Currently, there is negligible Enforcement on Drinking and Driving though it is scientifically proven that it is one of the major causes of fatal road crashes.

Besides Enforcement, we would also be involving Youth Groups, Rotary Clubs and other Community based Organizations to spread awareness on the risks posed by drunk drivers.
Drinking and Driving – an International Good practice manual

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Book accused of “Hit-and-Run” under culpable homicide not amounting to murder

Members of ArriveSAFE are meeting Senior Officials and holding Silent Protests demanding that the accused of “Hit-and-Run” be booked under Section 304 of the IPC, which provides for a 10 years’ imprisonment instead of the customary practice of imposing Section 304-A, which is a bailable offense. Further Section 279 of IPC for Rash and Negligent Driving and Section 134 of the MVA (The driver instead of informing the authorities or providing medical attention chose to run away) should also be imposed on him.

ArriveSAFE is also demanding that once the driver is arrested, his accomplices and family members should also be booked as they helped the accused driver by sheltering him.

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Member: Road Safety Councils of Punjab & Chandigarh

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Removal of Liquor and Poppy husk vends situated along highways

The Bench headed by Honourable Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an Order for the removal of liquor shops existing along highways. This is a major milestone in road safety for the region, a landmark legal precedent in India. ArriveSAFE had filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), faced strong and well-funded opposition, legal hurdles and delays, even threats to his person, during the campaign.

The area suffers alarmingly high rates of alcohol related road crashes, and with roadside alcohol stalls dotted along the highways, access to alcohol was a major contributor. This ruling will save lives and protect families.

Drink Driving in India

Sale of Liquor along Highways –adversely affects awareness and enforcement on drink driving

The Issue

Driving under the influence of liquor is one of the major risk factors. With the increased confidence level after drinking, compromised cognitive skills it affects human behavior towards other major risk factors as well like wearing of helmets or crash helmets, driving at excessive speed and use of mobile.

The Statistics

Globally: Driving under the influence of alcohol finally is responsible, for 30 to 50 per cent of road deaths and serious causalities.

Source: Practical Guide on road safety by GRSP & International Federation of Red Cross

Indian: As per World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention published by the World Health Organization.

a) In New Delhi, India, a study showed that a third of motorized two-wheeler riders taken to hospital admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol (94). Ref: Mohan D. Traffic safety and health in Indian cities. Journal of Transport and Infrastructure, 2002, 9: 79–94.

b) A study done in Bangalore found that 44% of crash victims seeking medical treatment were under the influence of alcohol (NIMHANS, Bangalore).

c)Alcohol and Drug Use in Injured Drivers – An Emergency Room Study in PGIMER, Chandigarh;a Regional Tertiary Care Centre (Published in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research)

The study found substance consumption in 54.5% of drivers and alcohol (40.5%) was the most prevalent substance consumed followed by opiates (13%), cannabis (7%) and benzodiazepines (7%). More than one substance was shown in urine of 11.5% of drivers.

The Challenges: Liquor shops along highways

The Global status report on alcohol and health 2014 by WHO states that the strategies regulating availability of alcohol is a cost-effective policy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.

Way back in 2004, the National Road Safety Council, India decided that liquor shops along the National Highways should be removed. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India issued circulars to the States in 2007, 2011 and again in 2013 to close down the liquor shops along the National Highways.

Letters from Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (Road Safety Cell) to Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs) – Strict enforcement of Section 185 of MV Act 1988 against drunken driving including removal of Liquor Shops along National Highways.

Download the Letter issued in 2011

Download the Letter issued in 2013

Excise Policy, a state subject governs the sale of liquor. The states give all possible liberties to the liquor traders as sale of alcohol generates maximum revenue. The Excise Policies never mention the clear locations of the liquor vends(official papers mention revenue limit of villages). This gives liberty to the traders to open vends at locations of their choice.

As per the Excise Policies:
• Liquor shops are setup in temporary structures abutting highways.Probably, the only business that can operate from agricultural land without any mandatory permissions like CLU certificate (Change of Land Use), highway authority, forest and electricity department etc.

• If a Liquor Shop remains operational at a given location for one year, the shop can operate from the same location for years to come.

• “Government approved Taverns” setup next to the liquor vends further prompted the road users to stop for a drink.

• Though advertising of alcohol is banned but the liquor vends put giant billboards showing cricket and Bollywood stars endorsing brands. Further, the IPL (Indian Premier League) teams endorse brands and item songs in movies glorify drinking and driving.

Liquor shop along a busy National Highway   Liquor shop on an island of an intersection, roads on all sides
Liquor shop along a busy National Highway   Liquor shop on an island of an intersection, roads on all sides
Photos of liquor shops along highways

Step 1 – Collecting information and evidence

We filed applications under RTI Act (Right to Information Act) to get data from National and State Departments on Roads, Transport, Police, Health, Land Records, Forests, Fire and Electricity etc. besides the Excise Department.

Further, we did in-depth study of the Excise Policies of the States and did photography of liquor vends along highways.

Startling facts : The NHAI provided a copy of a letter sent to the Deputy Commissioners of nine districts:

• 185 liquor shops vends on a 291 kilometres stretch of National Highway 1 in the North Indian States of Punjab & Haryana.

• Their regional office had to various state authorities from time to time and commented, “but concrete action is yet to be taken in the absence of lack of support from various quarters. It is well known that influential people own the liquor shops and removal of unauthorized encroachments will not be possible unless the support of district administration is available in a proactive and continuous manner.”

Download the letter sent by NHAI to the Deputy Commissioners.

So one vend at every 1.5 kilometers. If one drives at the National Speed Limit of 90 Km/Hr, one would come across a well-decorated liquor shop every one minute tempting the driver to stop for a drink.

Similarly, all National and State Highways were dotted with Liquor Shops open virtually 24 hours a day. Most of them so close to the road that one just stretches out an arm out of the car window and the salesman hands over the bottle.

Step two: Requested state governments to close liquor vends

We met the Ministers and Bureaucrats requesting them to amend the Excise Policies so liquor shops are not setup along the Highways. Rather they expressed their “inability” to act against the powerful businessmen and justified the location by saying that the States got crores of rupees (millions of dollars) as revenue per year through Excise Tax that is utilized for welfare activities.

They were completely insensitive towards the lives being lost and families getting shattered due to the avoidable road crashes. Further, as per various studies the expenditure on health and loss due to wastage of account of

1. Effect on Work & Employment
2. Consequences of Drink Driving on Personal Life and Family
3. Consequences of Drink Driving & Community
4. Financial Consequences of Drink Driving

To my utter surprise, instead of a positive response, I started getting threats to my life.

Step three: Seeking relief from the Court

We filed Public Interest Litigation in the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh and Rajasthan at Jaipur.

• The Punjab and Haryana High Court in its interim order dated 30.07.2013 directed the States to remove the advertisement hoardings.

• In its final judgment on 18.03.2014, the Court ordered that the liquor vends should neither be accessible nor visible from the highways implying that they would cease to exist.

• The Rajasthan High Court in its order date 23.03.2015 directed the state that the liquor vends should be located at least 150 meters away from the highways.

Interim Order dated 30.07.2013 by the bench headed by Chief Justice, High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

Final Order dated 18.03.2014 by the bench headed by Chief Justice, High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

Order dated 23.03.2015 by the bench headed by Chief Justice, High Court of Rajasthan and Jaipur

Step four: Getting the order implemented

The States amended their Excise Policies and were passed in the Legislative Assembles of these States. Still, getting the order implemented is a challenge, as we have to do the job of an enforcement agency.

Instead of complying with the order the liquor vend owners made a smart move.All across the states, thedirections of the sale counters were changed to the sides, not directly facing the highways. The locations remained the same. Exactly same exercise done by all liquor vend owners pointed strongly suggested that the authorities had advised them to do so.

We moved the court again and filed “contempt of court orders” cases. The states were forced to remove the liquor vends from the national highways. More than 90% of the liquor shops along the national highways are now closed. There are more than 100 litigations between the contractors and the states, the contractors blaming the state for not informing them about the court orders. They are seeking a refund citing heavy losses. The business sentiment can be gauged from the fact that the Government reduced the minimum-bidding price by more than 60%.

Public pressure grew and the media extensively covered any violation of the order. There were many instances where the local people closed/locked liquor shops that were setup against the orders. We never expected such huge support from the public; this just reflects that the people didn’t want these liquor shops there but earlier couldn’t take this step out of fear of the liquor mafia.

Three state highways were notified as national highways in September 2014 in Punjab state. The state government auctioned liquor vends along these highways hoping that our teams would not notice this violation. Once, again we had to move court apprising them of the violations. The court again directed the state to close down these shops.

Order dated 28.05.2015 by the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice, High Court of High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

Fight still on: States move Supreme Court

The States filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court of India seeking permission to operate liquor shops on state highways. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has ordered status quo of implementation of the High Orders on the State Highways. As a result, the liquor shops are still operating along State Highways.

Their plea is that state highways pass through townships and removing liquor shops from these highways would further reduce the revenue of the state. The case is going on in the apex court since March 2014 and there have been more than 10 hearings but the order has yet to be passed.

Our point is very clear; if drunken driving is dangerous on the national highways it is dangerous on the state highways as well. Rather, the risk is higher on the state highways as most of them have two-way traffic movement.

Repeated statements by the states that revenue reduces substantially if liquor vends are moved away from highways, clearly suggest that road users are their main clients. No bill/invoice is generated on purchase of a liquor bottle, the liquor vend operators charge as per their will.

The a DB of the Hon’ble SupremeCourt on8th September 2015 ordered that a meeting of the concerned authorities from the States, Union Territories and the Union Government is held to have a fresh look at the Model Police for Alcoholic Beverages & Alcohol. The order further says, “it would be more appropriate if the policy is revisited with regard to the location of liquor vends and sale of alcoholic beverages and alcohol in the proximity of the National Highways and the State Highways. ArriveSAFE will be entitled to participate in the meeting in any event.

Copy of Order

How to report a violation

If you find a liquor shops, which is visible or accessible you can report the violation. As per the Court Orders the Excise Department is duty bound to remove it:

1. Download the complaint form
a. Punjab
b. Haryana

2. Send it through registered post or speed post
3. If action is not taken within 2-3 weeks you can file an application under RTI Act to know status of the complaint

What’s Next: Getting the same implemented in other states

With two-year experience on dealing with the Governments of two States, we have started working on the same done in four States of North India. We have started collecting the data on the same lines. The situation is same in other States of the Country as far as liquor shops are concerned. India is a large country with an estimated population of nearly 1.25 billion people.

In States like Delhi, the Government directly runs liquor business and even the State Excise Department ignore the repeated advisories issued by the National Road Safety Council and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2013 that there should not be any liquor shop along the highways.

Besides this, we are writing to the Ministers and Members of Parliament of the newly formed Government to convince their State Governments to respect and Advisories and implement them.

The latest WHO Report has further strengthened our campaign as it also states that, “A known effective strategy is regulating commercial and public availability of alcohol.”

Keep the members of local Community Based Organizations (Panchayats: local bodies of the villages, which are elected through voting and approved by Government) and Municipal Council/Corporations informed and educated on the process they can use to get a liquor shop removed if ever a businessman tries to start the business illegally. The CBOs and local NGOs would be made aware of how to use the references of the Policy, authorities to be contacted to ensure enforcement. The general sentiment of the public is against these shops and these members are accountable to the people if they want to stay members. This would setup a parallel enforcement mechanism besides the state machinery to keep an eye.

The result has already started showing, as there were no bidders for Liquor Shops that were close to areas where even the roads would be constructed in the coming months.

Research shows that drink driving is one of the major causes of crashes, injuries and fatalities and a reduction in drunken drivers on the roads would have a cascading effect on other behavioural aspects of driving. This marathon and life-risking exercise of fighting relentlessly against the combined power of a group of State and Non-State Players would surely result in making roads safer.

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Campaign to get PWD engineers responsible for not putting/maintaining crash barriers on bridges booked

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Govt to ban killer trucks with protruding rods

In an move to tackle a growing road menace, the Centre has decided to ban vehicles which have iron and steel rods protruding dangerously out of them.

“We have decided to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989 and ban vehicles from carrying any object protruding out of the vehicles’ body frame, even if it is less than a metre. Such objects should be carried within compact containers,” said a senior road ministry official.

The proposed amendment will do away with a proviso in section 93(8) of the CMVR that allows goods vehicles to carry poles or rods as long as the projecting parts do not exceed one metre beyond the vehicle’s rear-most point.

“Though CMVR allowed vehicles to carry objects up to one metre beyond the vehicles body frame, the rule was blatantly violated. Such vehicles hardly used sufficient signs to warn motorists. So we have decided to do away with this provision,” said an official.

The ministry has taken the first step and issued a draft notification to effect the ban.

Last year alone, 9,087 people were killed and 29,573 were injured in accidents related to load — including iron and steel rods/pipe — protruding out of vehicles. Maharashtra reported the maximum accidents — 4,615 — followed by Uttar Pradesh (3,572) and Andhra Pradesh (3,375).

The move comes shortly after the Supreme Court asked the Centre for an explanation on a PIL seeking a ban on trucks and trailers carrying iron rods protruding dangerously and parked without any blinkers to warn vehicles coming from behind.

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Mobile phone app to help cyclists and drivers being developed by QUT

Researchers from The Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety (CARRS-Q) are working on creating a mobile phone app to warn cyclists and drivers of impending collisions.

The app will locate, track, connect and communicate between cyclists and drivers via their smart phones.

A warning will be issued if there is a reasonable chance of collision.

Dr Sebastien Demmel, from (CARRS-Q), said existing GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth systems can be used to allow the sharing of information between road users.

“For example, if a cyclist and driver are both approaching an intersection at speed, the app will be able to predict impending danger and warn both to slow down,” he


Pedestrians who download the app will be ‘passive users”, relaying information to drivers & cyclists.

Dr Demmel said an average of 35 cyclists die on Australian roads each year and more than 2500 others are seriously injured.

“Research has shown that most cyclist fatalities involve a collision with a motor vehicle and these typically occur because of human error, or one not seeing the other,” he said.

“What our research is aiming to do is use technology to help prevent injury and improve cyclist safety on our roads.”

Dr Demmel said small-scale testing will begin in three months, and hopes the app will be released by 2015.

The technology has implications for other road users like motorcyclists and could in future be modified to warn of unexpected obstacles for example, a pedestrian rushing out onto the street.

In the mean time Dr Demmel said cyclists should also wear high visibility and reflective clothing, and drivers should browse their surroundings and leave enough space when passing other cyclists.

Read more:

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Panel Calls For Mandatory Safety Audits For All Roads

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to establish a policy requiring mandatory audits for all roads nationwide to ensure safety standards can be consistently complied with.

This was one of the recommendations made in a report on the Genting Highlands bus crash in August last year by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, released by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) yesterday.

The report said many of the issues related to the Genting accident were “institutional and system-based”, giving rise to the possibility that the problems are not isolated cases but are instead the norms for the country.

With this view, the panel said, the proposed recommendations would not only be specific to this case but also applicable to the transport industry as a whole.

The report said the Genting accident, which claimed 37 lives, was due to speeding and other factors, including issues pertaining to road design; vehicle technical requirements and standard operating procedures (SOP); lack of enforcement of SOPs by related agencies; ineffective emergency response and rescue measures; and general attitudes on road safety.

It said that, based on police statistics from 2008 to 2011, several locations along the Batang Kali-Gohtong Jaya road in Genting were identified as accident-prone areas.

Other recommendations included locations with high number of crashes to be identified via risk mapping, using standard guidelines on road design and signage on all roads nationwide, high performance safety barriers to be installed at identified sections and for relevant authorities to upgrade current design specifications for all hilly roads.

The panel’s proposal to form a National Transportation Safety Board was submitted to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein a month ago, following investigations into the Genting incident.

Hishammuddin was reported in January as saying the proposal would be tabled in Parliament and that it would be the first such body in the Asean region to boost road, sea and air safety.

“As chairman of the independent panel, I thank Datuk Seri Hishammuddin for the trust given to us to study the various reports submitted by Miros and other relevant agencies pertaining to the Genting bus crash,” said Lee.

He said that during the review and evaluation process, a total of 82 reports and documents had been made available to the panel.

“I’m also glad the government has made the report public, in accordance with the wishes of the panel. It is history-making for Malaysia,” he said.

“It demonstrates the minister’s commitment to tackle road safety challenges in a transparent way. The panel welcomes such a responsible and appropriate approach in the interest of road safety and that of the public.”

Asked for details on the proposed National Transportation Safety Board, Lee said he remains unsure of when its formation would be, and that the appointment of its chairman would be for the government to decide.

“Its full operation would provide an effective platform to identify opportunities for safety improvement, as well as monitoring the implementation of road safety initiatives and their effectiveness,” he said

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Student transport changes ‘will have a major impact’

Proposed changes to home to school transport will have a ‘major impact’ on many Brooksby Melton College 
students, it is feared.

The college has responded in the strongest terms to the county council consultation and is urging parents and 
students to make their voices heard, too.

It says the intention to provide transport assistance to the ‘nearest college’ and not the ‘nearest course’ from September 2015 fails to acknowledge that it 
attracts students from all over the county and is a Designated Specialist Status college.

It offers a wide range of 
vocational courses across two main campuses and its specialist courses, for example in performing arts, media, business, equestrian management, animal care, agriculture, land management, horticulture, land-based service engineering, floristry, arboriculture and countryside management – 
 attract students from all parts of Leicestershire with significant numbers also travelling from neighbouring counties.

Vicki Lock, purchasing manager for the college, said: “Under these new proposals all students who do not reside within the local area will not be eligible for assisted transport. The local authority contract routes will be withdrawn, affecting at least 200 students, and the onus will pass to the college to provide transport infrastructure at substantial additional cost to retain students.

“If this happens the £425 student contribution per year will become irrelevant. We are committed to our learners and will do everything we can to minimise the impact on them but the realistic cost would be far higher which would either have to be passed on to the student/parent or subsidised by the college at the expense of teaching and learning.”

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18 killed in two road accidents in West Bengal

Malda: Eighteen people were on Tuesday killed and two others injured in separate mishaps on NH-34 in Malda district.

The highway has been closed after the accidents.

Police said 16 people died when a speeding truck collided head-on with a car on NH-34 at Kaluadighi near Malda town while two others were killed when their vegetable-laden pick-up van rammed into a stationary truck at Gajol in the district.

Fifteen men and a child were among those killed in the first accident which took place about 7:30 AM at Kaluadighi, police said.

While 13 people died on the spot, three others died after being taken to Malda Medical College and Hospital, officials said.

The victims were returning to their homes at Raiganj in neighbouring north Dinajpur district after attending a wedding reception at Sahapur near Malda town.

State government has declared Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the families of each of the 16 dead people in the accident, District Magistrate Sarat Kumar Dwivedi said.

In the second accident, two people died when their vegetable-laden van hit a standing truck on NH-34 at Alampur in Gajol police station in the district.

Two others, who were injured, have been admitted to a local hospital.

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India’s first of its kind Accident Response and Traffic Management Centre Operational in
Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC) has set up one of the country’s first integrated Accident Response System and Traffic Management Centre (ARS & TMC) – a system that integrates emergency response with Intelligent Transportation Systems for the benefit of public.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri. Shivraj Singh Chouhan inspected the successful implementation of the system. The Integrated command centre, inclusive of operational software systems has been delivered by Trivandrum-based ARS Traffic & Transport Technology (ARS T&TT India), a subsidiary of ARS T&TT, The Netherlands. The centre will play a pivotal role in significantly improving mobility and road safety in the state.

MPRDC manages the major part of the road network in Madhya Pradesh. In 2013 MPRDC assigned ARS T&TT with the construction of the command centre from ground up along with developing the operational systems as part of its vision to bring safety and efficiency measures to the roadways of Madhya Pradesh. This integrated centre monitors and mobilizes traffic on 20,000 km of road including National Highway, State Highways and MDR (Major District Roads).

Along with monitoring the operational efficiency of toll operators, the centre fulfills the role of national incident resolution centre in case of accidents or incidents thereby fitting into state’s disaster management policy.

The traffic situations near tolled roads in M.P shall be monitored through CCTV surveillance. The toll collection systems shall be centrally monitored. The solution shall be extended to other Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) like traffic management and speed enforcement systems, as well as smartphone enabled traffic information systems in the near future to increase the road safety and traffic mobility clarified Mr.Vivek Aggarwal, Managing Director of MPRDC.

“From accidents only, India has a yearly mortality rate of 20 per 100,000 which is on the high side when compared to other developed countries. ARS & TMC developed by ARS T&TT ensures that the critical services such as medical assistance to casualties are immediately available, working from an informed and holistic picture.” said Dr. J H Linssen, CEO, ARS T&TT India.

“The operational systems use data warehousing and analytics to identify the nearest facilities with the required support functions. Along with the dispatch and real-time navigation of emergency response vehicles such as ambulances, cranes, etc, and using camera based video surveillance of traffic flow, the system works with complete operational intelligence making automated decisions and advises. Victims therefore can always count on fast help and support,” he added.

About MPRDC -

Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation Ltd. (MPRDC) was incorporated as a wholly government owned company. It is notified as “State Highway Authority” under Madhya Pradesh Rajmarg Adhiniyam and responsible for the implementation and maintenance of 15 State Highway and Major District Road Projects under the public-private partnership scheme. MPRDC is also responsible in providing an integrated effective transport system that is safe, affordable, accessible to all and environmentally sustainable.

About ARS T&TT -

ARS Traffic & Transport Technology has been providing traffic and transport technology solutions to businesses and government bodies since 1997. It is active in its home market of the Netherlands, but also internationally. ARS T&TT is an end-to-end provider from consultancy, design, development and operation to project finance, if required. Having its footprint in India since 2001, ARS T&TT has decades of experience in developing and maintaining international grade ‘Intelligent Transportation’ solutions from their development centres in Trivandrum and Pune.

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Safe, Clean, Fair and Green agenda leads UN Post-2015 Hearing

The ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green’ agenda for post-2015 sustainable transport has been presented to the United Nations at the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals on 7 January 2014.

Saul Billingsley, Acting Director General of the FIA Foundation, made the opening presentation to the UN’s Open Working Group (OWG), the body of governments designated by the UN General Assembly to propose a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Open Working Group convened at UN headquarters for a day of discussions dedicated to sustainable transport.

A four member top panel comprising the two Co-Chairs of the OWG, the Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN and the Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN along with Saul Billingsley and Bright Oywaya of the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya, opened the UN session.

Saul Billingsley called on UN member states to restore the human dimension to transport policy in the post-2015 development goals. He said:

“There is a fundamental, and often fatal, disconnect when transport efficiency is calculated only according to narrow economic criteria. When it forgets or neglects the human dimension. An all too typical example is road building and rehabilitation designed to increase vehicle volume and speed, without considering the wider or long-term safety or environmental impacts.

So our objective for the post-2015 agenda should be to restore the human dimension to transport policy, to design transport systems that do no harm, and to integrate transport policies with wider development objectives in a way that supports the delivery of the new sustainable development goals.”

He urged the UN to include the kind of targets set out in the Safe, Clean, Fair and Green agenda for post-2015 sustainable mobility.

These are 2030 targets which have also been reflected in the main briefings prepared for the Open Working Group by UN agencies and partners. They include a global target for halving road traffic deaths as proposed by the Commission for Global Road Safety; doubling urban access to mass transit; bringing an additional 1.5 billion urban residents within WHO air quality thresholds; and following the work of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, doubling the fuel efficiency of new vehicles.

Sheila Watson, Executive Secretary of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) and Director of Environment for the FIA Foundation also spoke. In her intervention to the Open Working Group she urged the UN to include a target to double vehicle fuel economy in the Post-2015 Development Goals. Following the initial session with the Open Working Group Co-Chairs, Lew Fulton of the Institution of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis and a key partner on the GFEI addressed all Member States of the UN Open Working Group on the range of proposed sustainable transport targets.

Bright Oywaya who has been campaigning with Make Roads Safe for a post-2015 road injury target, had been selected by NGOs along with Saul Billingsley to lead the input into the transport session of the Open Working Group.

She said:

“We have the knowledge, the data and the solutions to ensure that transportation can serve as a powerful enabler of the post-2015 objectives – to eradicate poverty, to ensure equitable growth and people-centred development. Clear, compelling targets as in the overarching ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green,’ agenda presented this morning, can and must be integrated into the post-2015 Goals. Millions of lives and livelihoods depend upon it, as does the future of my country and other developing nations.”

Bright Oywaya highlighted the Share the Road project of the UN Environment Programme and FIA Foundation as an example of an initiative which could contribute to the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. She said: “Share the Road is an approach which prioritises safety and sustainability, providing cross-cutting benefits: for health tackling road injury, obesity and non-communicable diseases; for the environment promoting non-motorised and public transport to tackle congestion and emissions; and for access to employment and services.”

Following the main Open Working Group session, the FIA Foundation’s Saul Billingsley spoke at a side event organised by the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), alongside Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN HABITAT, and Nikhil Seth, Director of Sustainable Development at the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs. The event launched the draft Results Framework on Sustainable Transport. The FIA Foundation has contributed to the Results Framework which covers targets on Urban Access, Rural Access, Road Safety, Air Pollution and Human Health, and on Climate Change.

The FIA Foundation also organised a side event with the UN Environment Programme focusing in more detail on the Safe, Clean, Fair and Green agenda. Representing the UNEP was Arab Hoballah Chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch in the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics of UNEP. Also speaking was Cornie Huizenga, Joint Convener of the Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership. Saul Billingsley and Sheila Watson also spoke on behalf of the FIA Foundation.

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Traffic safety officials want cars to be able to talk to each other

WASHINGTON — Raising hopes of preventing many deadly collisions, transportation officials said Monday they plan to propose requiring automakers to equip new cars and light trucks with technology that lets vehicles communicate with each other.

A radio beacon would continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles, and a vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems may automatically brake to avoid an accident if manufacturers choose to include that option.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been working with automakers on the technology for the past decade, estimates vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don’t involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.

The technology holds the “game-changing” potential to prevent crashes in the first place, while the government’s focus until now has been on ensuring accidents are survivable, David Friedman, the head of the safety administration, said at a news conference.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration decided to announce its intention to require the technology in new vehicles in order to “send a strong signal to the (automotive industry) that we believe the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology.”

However, it will still be a least several years and perhaps longer before manufacturers would have to put the technology in vehicles, officials said. The safety administration plans to issue a report later this month on the results of its research, and then the public and automakers will have 90 days to comment. After that, regulators will begin drafting a proposal to require automakers to equip new vehicles with the technology. That process could take months to years to complete, but Foxx said it is his intention to issue the proposal before President Obama leaves office.

“It will change driving as we know it over time,” said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. “Over time, we’ll see a reduction in crashes. Automobile makers will rethink how they design and construct cars because they will no longer be constructing cars to survive a crash, but building them to avoid a crash.”

Government officials declined to give an estimate for how much the technology would increase the price of a new car, but the transportation society estimate it would cost about $100 to $200 per vehicle.

Automakers are enthusiastic about vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but feel there are important technical, security and privacy questions that need to be worked out first, said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

Vehicle-to-vehicle “may well play a larger role in future road safety, but many pieces of a large puzzle still need to fit together,” she said.

The safety benefits can’t be achieved until there is a critical mass of cars and trucks on the road using the technology, and it’s not clear what that level of market penetration is. It takes many years to turn over the nation’s entire vehicle fleet, but the technology could start preventing accidents long before that. Research indicates safety benefits can be seen with as few at 7 percent to 10 percent of vehicles in a given area similarly equipped, said Paul Feenstra, a spokesman for the transportation society, an umbrella organization for the research and development of new transportation technologies.

Once automakers start adding the technology to all new cars, it would take 15 years or more for half the cars on the nation’s roads to be equipped, according to the communications technology company Qualcomm. There are about 5 million to 6 million new cars sold each year.

There may be a way to speed things up. About 45 percent of Americans use smartphones, and that share is growing. The average lifetime of a smartphone is two years. If smartphones, which already have GPS, came equipped with a radio chip they could be used to retrofit vehicles already on the road so that they can talk to each other. The phone would be put in a cradle to sync with the car’s computers. That would help make it possible to achieve a 50 percent market penetration in less than five years, according to Qualcomm.

Using cellphones could also extend the safety benefits of connected-car technology to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, Belcher said. Drivers would be alerted to a possible collision with a pedestrian carrying a smartphone that continually sends out information to cars in the vicinity, even if it’s too dark to see the person or if the pedestrian darts suddenly into traffic. More than 4,700 pedestrians were killed by vehicles and 76,000 injured in 2012.

But there are significant technical and standardization hurdles to using cellphones to support connected car technology. Cellphone batteries typically last only about three hours if used continually. They would need antennas, there are issues with what radio frequencies would be used and their GPS functions may not be as precise as those in a vehicle manufactured with connected car technology, for example.

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HC notice to Centre on PIL for implementing road safety policy

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre on a PIL, seeking implementation of the 2010 National Road Safety Policy to ensure safety and welfare of road users.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana sought a reply from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on the PIL filed by Rajiv Boolchand Jain.

Besides the Centre, the PIL has made National Highway Authority of India and Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department as parties.

“The Government of India should consider time-bound implementation of National Road Safety Policy, 2010 by establishing the National Road Safety Board and the National Road Safety fund,” it said.

It has also sought a direction to the authorities to devise measures for effective implementation of the policy to ensure safety and security of road users especially rural folks who are not familiar with the traffic rules.

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World Bank Road Safety

JAIPUR: The World Bank has funded Rs 1362 crore for Road Sector Modernization Project which includes rural road connectivity programme. In this project 1056 revenue villages having population 250 – 499 (as per census 2001) spreading across 21 districts shall be connected by all weather roads in Rajasthan.

The major components of the projects are road section modernization and performance enhancement – under this component modernization of PWD with steps such as computerization, review of road sector policy, modernization of engineering practices and capacity building of PWD as an Institution will be taken.

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Research road safety

TRYING to stem the growing rate of elderly drivers on the road could be making life more dangerous for older Australians, particularly those in regional areas at risk of depression or physical health problems.

New research by Queensland University of Technology researcher Dr Ides Wong suggests the perceived dangers of senior drivers could be overstated, with most avoiding night or peak-hour driving.

“Older drivers tell us they have changed their driving patterns as a result of age,” Dr Wong said.

“In reality, they are less likely to drive on motorways and high-speed roads.

“They actually drive significantly less in general.”

Dr Wong, who completed her PhD on the topic through the university’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, said there needed to be a focus on keeping senior Australians mobile.

“One thing we’re proposing for rural and remote areas where public transport may not be feasible is for older drivers to nominate a driving partner,” Dr Wong said.

By having friends or family available or community volunteers to drive, senior Australians in regional areas could be assured of some independence.

Dr Wong said most older drivers largely stuck to a strict routine, driving only a few kilometres to their nearest shops at a certain time each morning to buy a newspaper and cup of coffee.

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