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UNITAR, Gov of Haryana, AB InBev and #SaferRoadsForGurugram host Road Safety High Level Conference

Kolkata,Aug 29 The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Haryana , AB InBev and the Safer Roads for Gurugram Initiative hosted “Road Safety High Level Conference (RSHLC)”.
This two-day event took place at the Taj City Centre in Gurugram was the first such initiative in India.

According to United Nations, 1.25 million people die on the world’s roads, and up to 50 million are left injured or disabled. In the case of India, 1,50,785 people die in traffic accidents in a total of 4,80,652 accidents throughout the country (which is fatalities of 413 people everyday), according to the Ministry of Road Safety and Transport.
Approximately 54,400 Indian motorists are killed every year, representing 35 per cent of all fatalities on Indian roads, followed by 15,746 pedestrians (11 per cent) and 2,528 cyclists (two per cent). These road traffic-related deaths and injuries have unparalleled health and socio-economic implications on Indian society.
As part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the United Nations’ member states have set the goal to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 per cent by the year 2020.

Estrella Merlos, Project Lead – Road Safety Initiative, United Nations Institute of Training & Research (UNITAR) said, “At the core of UNITAR's work towards the improvement of road safety is to build awareness, promote education, train those who implement policies, and instill a sense of civic responsibility, while fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships.
This Conference has brought together partners from both private and public sectors for an open and frank discussion on concrete and executable strategies that will contribute to improve Gurugram’s road safety. We are delighted that the private sector in India is actively joining forces with us towards our common objective.”

In this context, UNITAR, along with private and public sector partners, have committed to strengthening the capacities of government officials and key stakeholders to improve road safety through concrete measures.

At the Road Safety High-Level Conference, senior government authorities, private sector executives, academics, international organization representatives, road safety experts and civil society leaders, gathered to exchange knowledge and the best practices to improve road safety, leading to collaboration and implementation of targeted interventions in the city of Gurugram.
The event also sought to empower government officials with the technical expertise and management skills to implement interventions that improve road safety, as well as mobilize stakeholders from different sectors to support road safety interventions in the City of Gurugram.

Commenting on this occasion Dhanpat Singh, Additional Chief Secretary – Road Transport & Highway Department, Government of Haryana said, “Companies under the working group coming together for a good cause is commendable and very encouraging. The action plan shared by the working group will be implemented in phases. On behalf of the Transport Department, Government of Haryana; we will extend our full support to make safer roads for Gurugram.”

During the RSHLC, representatives Estrella Merlos from UNITAR, and Catalina Garcia from AB InBev, alongside Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary (Transport), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, India and Dhanpat Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, State of Haryana – Transport Department, introduced key pillars of the Partnership for Action on Road Safety and their local applications in India.

Commenting on the occasion Ben Verhaert, President – India, AB InBev said, “Road Safety is one of our top priorities, we are working closely with UNITAR and Government officials to educate and inform the people about the importance of road safety by subsequently generating concrete measures to mitigate these risks. We would like to empower government officials with skills, tools and a methodology to intervene and improve road safety. We are delighted to launch the Road Safety Data Dashboard that will capture relevant factors identified in road crashes and will serve as a tool for government authorities to target road safety actions in Gurugram. #SaferRoadsForGurugram is a monumental first step towards ensuring safer roads for the people in the city and we are confident that the report on Blackspots and Accident-prone zones is sure to have a real-time positive impact on reducing road fatalities in Gurugram.”

The Road Safety Learning and Partnership Platform, a global collaborative initiative that aims to support countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and result-oriented road safety learning. This platform gathers materials, trainings and case studies to support countries in developing and implementing road safety interventions. The platform is available at: www.un-roadsafety-learn.org

The Road Safety Data Dashboard for Gurugram, a tool that serves to monitor data related to road traffic incidents, empowering government officials to target informed road safety actions in the area, was also launched. This tool is being developed to ensure an evidence-based approach is taken to implementation road safety solutions.

A tangible example of the interventions that are being conducted in Gurugram, is the undergoing analysis of 10 black-spots. This analysis comprises the scientific identification of hazardous locations in any given road system and the development of appropriate, cost-effective methods to correct them. Moving forward, these spots will be monitored for 6 months and adjusted when necessary to reduce the number of accidents that have continued to increase as a result of the rapid urbanization in Gurugram.

The Conference concluded with a meeting of the Safer Roads for Gurugram Working Group, where participants reviewed the initiative’s progress, defined next steps and discussed impact-oriented road safety solutions.
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