The Government of Karnataka on Monday (February 22) signed a Participatory Agreement (PA) with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) to improve road safety measures and adopt best practices, including a data-driven approach, to prevent traffic accidents in Bengaluru Metropolitan Region.

According to a government press release, various measures, such as enforcing speeding laws, wearing helmets, drinking and driving, building safer roads and using data from high-quality monitoring and evaluation systems for policy and planning, will be implemented under the initiative.

Committed to reducing the number of deaths in road accidents

“We are delighted to partner with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety to implement global best practice measures that can help prevent crashes and in turn save lives. We are committed to reducing fatalities and injuries related to road accidents, which are largely preventable, and this partnership with BIGRS is a testament to this continuous effort,” said Rajender Kumar Kataria, Principal Secretary, Karnataka Department of Transport.

“The Karnataka government, these experts and our citizens will work together to ensure that no more lives are lost on our streets,” he added. Bangalore is one of 30 cities that will participate in the initiative, The Hindu reported.

Kelly Larson of Bloomberg Philanthropies said nearly 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year, and by implementing proven, data-based interventions, these deaths are preventable.

Eight leading causes of death

The statement said road traffic crashes are the eighth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death among young people. Around 20 to 50 million people are seriously injured, often with permanent and debilitating injuries worldwide. In 2020, the metropolitan region of Bengaluru recorded 2,990 deaths as a result of these preventable road accidents.

From 2015 to 2019, BIGRS supported a global network of 10 cities and five countries to implement data-driven interventions to reduce road deaths and injuries. Bloomberg Philanthropies has expanded this program in 2020 and will continue to partner with some of the world’s largest cities to improve road safety. Nearly 30 cities, including Bengaluru, and 15 countries will participate in this phase of the initiative from 2020 to 2025.

“The government is committed to transforming Bangalore into an accident and accident free region. The initiative aims to reduce accidents and fatalities through global best practices and technical support from experts around the world. The initiative will bear fruit for Bangalore and Bangalores in the days to come,” said B Sreeramulu, Minister of Transport and Welfare for Scheduled Tribes.

Also read: “On Cloud 9!” Karnataka youth film shot during pandemic arrives at Berlin Film Festival

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