Road safety in India
India loses more than 100 000 lives due to road traffic crashes every year. It has a road traffic fatality rate of 16.8 deaths per 100 000 population. Approximately half of all deaths on the country's roads are among vulnerable road users - motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. According to the recently published WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, though there are laws on speed, seatbelt wearing and helmet wearing, and drink-driving, they are poorly enforced. India is one of the ten countries included in the WHO Road Safety in 10 countries project which will be conducted over 5-years by a consortium of six international partners.
Road safety project
The project will be implemented in two states, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
In Punjab, the project site will be the state capital Chandigarh, and the nearby district of Jallandhar, with a combined population of approximately 2.6 million. The focus for the first year will be on reducing drink-driving, through capacity building among law enforcement officials and social marketing campaigns. The project will be coordinated through a multi-sectoral working group, chaired by the state Department of Health and Family Welfare.
In Andhra Pradesh the project site will be the city of Hyderabad and surrounding area of Ranga Reddy (combined population of 8-9 million). The intervention for the first year will be on increasing helmet use, through strengthening law enforcement, social marketing, and using advocacy to increase political and laypersons awareness of this issue. In the second year data on the problem of drink driving will also be collected. A working group is being established, chaired by the Secretary Government for the Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
Both states will include a component on improving trauma care, which will be carried out through training of casualty staff using international recognized and accredited training courses.
WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership, and the International Injury Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University are the international consortium partners who will provide technical guidance and funding relating to the behavioural road safety risk factors and trauma care, while the World Bank and EMBARQ will also be working in the state on parallel projects relating to road infrastructure assessment and bus rapid transit systems.