Union Ministry of Roads Transport & Highways is planning to introduce cashless medical treatment to all injured accident victims across the nation within the next three to four months. This was revealed by Anurag Jain, Secretary, Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways at the three day “Global Road Safety” Initiative organised by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) earlier this week in the national capital. The objective of the event was to focus on deliberating finalising suggestive codes of practice to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries in low- and middle-income countries.
According to the Govt. the free and cashless medical treatment to accident injured victims is part of the amended Motor vehicle Act 2019. While some states have already implemented it, now the Ministry of Roads in league with the ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be fully implementing it across the nation. It is envisioned for providing access to cashless trauma care treatment for road accident victims at the nearest appropriate hospital in the country, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, and by drawing its power from the Motor Vehicle(Amendment) Act 2019. Cashless treatment shall be extended to road accident victims including during golden hour, as defined by the Act.
India has the highest number of road accident deaths in the world and in a bid to reduce accidents by 50 per cent by the year 2030 Union Govt has formulated a multi-pronged strategy based on 5E’s of road safety to address the issue of road safety based on Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency Care. As part of road engineering, road safety has been made an integral part of road design at the planning stage. The electronic Detailed Accident Report (e-DAR) Project has been initiated to establish a central repository for reporting, management and analysis of road accidents data across the Country and rectify the engineering faults within a month or two.
For education and awareness about road safety, the Union Ministry of Education will also include Road safety as part of curriculum for schools and colleges which will be implemented soon. For vehicular engineering, several steps have been taken including ABS brakes, two wheelers over speed warning system, seat belt reminder and introduction of Bharat NCAP. Enforcement is a real time key to ensuring motor vehicle laws are followed including wearing of helmet& seatbelt, lane driving and jumping redlight, according to the Centre.
The global road safety experts who attended the event will be working towards deliberating and finalizing suggestive codes of safe practice for driver certification, diagnosis of road crashes through multi-disciplinary crash investigation and safety of vulnerable road users. The new set of recommendations arising from the meet will be tabled and discussed in the forthcoming Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety sessions in Geneva from March 2024.
The author is a Senior Editor at carandbike.com.