The Government of India and the World Bank launched a road safety initiative in November 2010 to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Indian roads. The project will apply the methodology of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) to assist three Indian states—Assam, Gujarat and Karnataka—improve road safety on 3,000 km of high-risk roads.
This initiative seeks to reduce the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists who die on India’s roads every year, which is currently about 200,000 a year or 550 every day. India accounts for 15 percent of the world’s road fatalities, although it has just one percent of the world’s motor vehicles. Many of these deaths are preventable by improved road design and management.
As India’s rapid economic growth enables more people to own cars and scooters, the death toll on the country’s roads will rise unless efficient measures are implemented. India has now overtaken China to top the world in road fatalities and continues to pull steadily ahead.
This $400,000 project is undertaken with the support of the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), administered by the World Bank as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Road Safety Project (RS-10 Project). It follows up on the Government of India’s 2007 Sundar Committee Report on Road Safety and Traffic Management, which called for action to make Indian roads safer.
The Global Road Safety Facility, also supported by the International Automobile Federation’s FIA Foundation, as well as the Australian, Dutch and Swedish governments, generates and catalyzes increased funding to support initiatives aimed at reducing deaths and injuries in low and middle-income countries. Experience in high-income countries demonstrates that road deaths and injuries are preventable, and the potential benefits to low and middle-income countries are huge.
Building on success
The India project builds on the success of similar Global Road Safety Facility partnerships to apply the iRAP methodology to develop safe road investment plans in Vietnam, Serbia, Peru, Argentina and the Philippines. In Vietnam, for example, a recently launched iRAP project applied to a 3,000-km road is expected to prevent about 360 fatalities per year.