SHILLONG, June 11 - In line with the Centre�s Road Safety policy, Meghalaya too has approved a road safety policy which envisages setting up of driving schools in all the districts, strict compliance of guidelines to issue driver�s licences, amongst other steps.
Informing about the policy decision, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said recently the Government would take on board various departments like Transport, Health, Road, Finance and others for the successful implementation of the policy approved by the Cabinet.
According to the Chief Minister, data showed that in India 16 persons die every hour in road accidents. More than 1.4 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents in 2015.
�There is a huge shortage of good drivers in the State. We are therefore setting up driving schools in all the districts of the State,� the Chief Minister said.
Commenting on the issue of driver�s licence illegally, Sangma said that steps would be taken for stringent compliance of guidelines during issue of driver�s licences.
According to the draft Road Safety policy, the State would endeavour in reducing the number of accidents in the State and also make the roads safer for the pedestrians.
�Concerns of pedestrians would be given priority in the policy as majority of people along the roads are pedestrians. We would also encourage walking and cycling as an alternative to vehicles for a healthy lifestyle,� Sangma stated.
He said an initial corpus fund of Rs 3 crore would be created for implementation of the policy, which includes legal assistance, wherever necessary.
During implementation of road projects, not less than five per cent would be set aside for road safety measures. For projects over Rs 10 crore, road safety audits would be mandatory.
Research on road safety would also be conducted with the assistance of the Central Government. Sangma said, a road safety training and research institute would be established to conduct such research activities.
The Transport department, the nodal agency to implement the policy, would also conduct period checks on vehicles so that these are road worthy and safe. Such checks would also be conducted in the case of drivers.
Sangma said that enforcement of traffic rules would be one of the other priorities under the policy. He said, traffic police would be provided with modern equipments such as speed guns, breath analysers, wheel clamps and such equipments.
Moreover, the emergency response teams would be strengthened. �Steps would be taken to improve the emergency medical response in Government Hospitals,� the Chief Minister added.
Awareness programmes on road safety would also form a core of the policy. Such awareness programmes would be held thorough out the States, he informed.