At the first annual general body meeting of International Road Federation (IRF) India chapter held in August in New Delhi, KK Kapila, the new Chairman of IRF Geneva said that the India chapter has joined hands with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to bring down road fatalities by 50% by 2012 through a national level campaign. The most important action of the campaign has been the finalisation of engineering measures to enhance safety on forgiving roads. These engineering measures would ensure that even if some errant vehicles go out of control, they would be brought back to the road, thus avoiding accidents. The government is also actively considering a proposal for creating Road Safety Boards.
A national level advertising campaign in 120 newspapers in main Indian languages will focus on essential dos and don’ts of safety. Posters featuring catchy slogans and a series of TV promos on key road safety themes will be a part of the campaign. Two films on safety have already been made and the state governments have been requested to instruct the cinema owners to screen these before the regular feature films.
According to Kapila, the safety campaign aims at practical solutions. For one such solution, the IRF is working with the ministry of heavy industries to change the colour of every bicycle produced in India from black to reflective orange. It is recommending the painting of the rear mudguards of all motorised two wheelers too in orange. Another initiative is to increase the number of driving schools and establish specialised road safety training research institutes.
The modernisation work is being carried out by ITD-ITD Cem JV, a consortium of Italian Thai Development Public Company Limited and ITD Cementation India Limited. ITD has to its credit the Suvarnabhumi International Airport at Bangkok, considered to be one of the best airports in the world, as also Mandalay International Airport, Myanmar, Don Muang (Bangkok) International Terminal Expansion and Ahmedabad Airport.