First publishedin World Highways
Ministers from numerous countries attended the World Road Meeting
Organised by the International Road Federation (IRF Geneva) a day before the official opening of the 18th IRF World Meeting, a Transport Ministers Forum was held in Delhi, India on 13th November 2017.
Highlighting how the rise in road accidents is increasing the burden on healthcare in low and middle-income countries including India, Union health minister J P Nadda said about 48% of hospital beds in surgical wards are occupied by road traffic injury patients in these countries.
Nadda said road traffic deaths and injuries are forecast to rise by about 65% by 2020. In low and middle-income countries, these fatalities are expected to increase by 80% and the majority of these victims are vulnerable road users (VRUs) - pedestrians, cyclists and two-wheeler riders. Nadda further said that the political commitment and a will to achieve can bring about significant and rapid decline in road injuries and requires planning at all levels, capacity creation, involvement of all sectors and good data.
Transport Ministers from eight countries, along with Shri Yudhvir Singh Malik, Secretary (RT&H), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways; Jean Todt, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety; Kiran K Kapila, chairman, IRF Geneva; heads of key international organisations and donor agencies, NGOs, and private sector representatives were also present at the occasion.
The UN Special Envoy welcomed the reforms put forward by the Government of India to the Motor Vehicles Act and highlighted that, if adopted and implemented, these could save thousands of lives.
The Ministerial meeting culminated in the signing of the Delhi Declaration. Ministers and high representatives strongly reaffirm in the document their commitment to road safety. The Declaration stresses key road safety measures, including the importance of UN legal instruments, capacity building, Minimum Vehicle Safety Standards (including Electronic Stability Control Systems) and the need to mobilise funding.
Speaking to the press, IRF chairman Kapila said, “Each country has to tailor the right solutions for its peculiar problems. Effective evidence-based measures do exist. We are all here to share our respective expertise and to support each other. Road safety is a personal matter as it concerns each and every individual”.
The full text of the declaration can be accessed on IRF Geneva website: www.irfnet.ch
A full report from the 18th IRF World Meeting will feature in the next issue of the IRF’s pages on World Highways.