Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla flagged off a car rally from the Constitution Club here on Sunday. Apart from Members of Parliament, officers from defence and paramilitary forces, eminent personalities from industry as well as people from different walks of life participated in the car rally.
The theme of this year’s car rally is ‘Road Safety’. Speaking on the occasion, Birla observed that there has been an unprecedented increase in both the length and quality of the road network in the country.
“Our highways and roads are increasing in number, length and quality. Historical changes have taken place in the socio economic lives of the people through Mission Gati Shakti,” he said.
The Lok Sabha Speaker said on the other hand, the number of road accidents is increasing and the number of people losing their lives in road accidents is increasing which is a matter of grave concern.
Birla informed that more than 4 lakh accidents take place in the country every year and more than 1.5 lakh people die in these accidents every year.
“If one year’s road accident is assessed economically, the economic loss would be equal to about 1 percent of our GDP. Therefore, road accidents are a loss to the family, society and the country,” said Birla.
Speaking about road safety, Birla emphasised that everyone knows the rules of traffic, rules related to walking on the road, but they do not follow them.
“If we pay attention to small things, follow traffic rules, then we will be able to keep ourselves safe and also ensure safety to other people walking on the road,” he said.
Mentioning that engineering, enforcement, education and emergency care are the four pillars for road safety, Birla said that the most important thing in this direction is that the citizens should be aware of this subject.
Governments can make rules but it is the responsibility of the public to follow them, emphasised Birla.
“Road safety can be ensured only when all the people and civil society cooperate in this work supplementing the efforts being made by the government. For this, a comprehensive awareness, education and training campaign should be conducted and there should be active participation of citizens and social organisations,” added Birla.
To ensure road safety, the mindset of the public, especially the youth, has to be changed, asserted Birla. He urged the people to follow the traffic rules and motivate others to follow the traffic rules as well.
Birla expressed hope that events like the car rally would create more awareness among the people and also help in boosting the efforts of the government to combat the serious problem related to road safety and a positive message of road safety would go to the whole country.
At the outset, tributes were paid to former Members of Parliament who lost their lives in road accidents.