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Accidents claimed nearly 48,000 lives on National Highways last year: Government.

ROAD ACCIDENTS killed as many as 47,984 people on National Highways, including on expressways, during 2020, the Parliament was informed on Thursday.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said 53,872 people died due to road accidents on National Highways, including on expressways, in 2019. Gadkari said the major causes of the accidents on the NHs were vehicle design and condition, road engineering, speeding, drunken driving/ consumption of alcohol and drugs, driving on the wrong side, jumping the red light, use of mobile phones, etc.

He also said the ministry has issued guidelines for improving the road safety through safety audits at all stages — design stage, construction stage and O&M stage— by engaging independent road safety experts.

Replying to a separate question, Gadkari said during the oxygen crisis in March-April 2021, shortage of technically qualified trained drivers to handle Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers was reported.

“Taking into account the continuous rise in requirement for transportation of liquid oxygen (LOX), extended period of oxygen management, addition to the inventory of cryogenic tankers and high fatigue/ attrition rate due to 24X7 operations, the ministry issued advisory to states to create a pool of trained drivers for transporting hazardous cargo,” he said.

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