Statistics indicate that globally 1.3 million people die in traffic-related accidents each year. In urban areas, more than half are the most vulnerable users – pedestrians and bicyclists, and in India, 13,00,000 people die each year in traffic fatalities. Conventional approaches to road safety ignore this fact and instead focus on making motor-vehicles safer. Road design improvements, which are often expensive and impractical, focus on making fast travel safe. Both these approaches make the situation worse for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is estimated that, at this rate, traffic-related fatalities will be the 5th leading cause of death globally by 2030.
EMBARQ India addresses the problem of road safety, reducing traffic-related fatalities, and improving quality of life in Indian cities by:
• Influencing street design through road safety audits, inspections and street design recommendations that encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport, reduce average speeds of motorised traffic, and improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Developing knowledge and capacity of decision makers on the adoption of sustainable transport principles, thus driving greater investment in this sector.
• Developing publications and guidelines to influence capacity on how to improve road safety and public health through sustainable transport.
• Conducting studies to link public health and access to public transport.
EMBARQ India has conducted road safety audits on public transit corridors in Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, and Ahmedabad; and studies on the public health and road safety benefits of the BRT systems in Indore and Ahmedabad. Some recommendations have been implemented in Ahmedabad, while other recommendations are currently under review.