EU and India cooperate to improve road safety
Brussels, Belgium – European and Indian road transport stakeholders meeting in Brussels on 1 June 2006 agreed to significantly strengthen cooperation in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS). The conference, organised by the ERTICO-coordinated EU-India project and supported by the European Commission, attracted several high-level public and private sector participants from the two regions.
“This meeting has proved a real boost to EU-India ITS cooperation”, Jacob Bangsgaard, ERTICO Director of External Affairs and Communications, commented. “Important ITS demonstrations will be launched in India with the assistance of European stakeholders, and we have a clear commitment from key players to support further Indian ITS deployment activities”.
The EU-India event aimed to assess how road safety and sustainable mobility in India can be enhanced with the help of ITS. India has one of the highest road accident rates in the world – more than 80,000 people are killed every year. Due to the phenomenal growth in the number of vehicles in the country, traffic is having an increasingly negative impact on the urban environment and the need to upgrade India’s traffic management systems has become pressing.
Participants agreed on the need to develop an ITS road map for India that sets out key priorities and action points. As a first step, delegates concurred that urban traffic planning and management must be improved in order to make the most of the existing infrastructure. Digital mapping, traffic data collection and broadcasting will be key factors in this respect. Participants also pointed to the need to develop an emergency management system.
As a first collaboration activity, delegates decided to start work on defining a series of demonstrations intended to showcase the benefits that ITS solutions can offer and raise awareness among Indian decision makers of the potential of ITS. In particular, participants agreed that ITS can greatly improve traffic management in connection with large events, and committed to evaluating in greater detail how ITS could help ease the management of the Dehli Commonwealth Games, scheduled for 2010.
On a more long-term basis, delegates pledged to support the creation of a centre of excellence for ITS in India and increase cooperation on ITS training and education between the two regions.
Among the high-level participants attending the event were André Vits, Head of the European Commission’s ICT for Transport Unit, A. P. Bahadur from the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, O.P. Agarwal from the Indian Ministry of Urban Development, as well as numerous participants from both Indian and European industry.
ERTICO is a public/private partnership working to facilitate the safe, clean, efficient and comfortable mobility of people and goods in Europe. It provides a platform for its Partners to define research & development needs at the EU level, execute publicly funded research & development projects, articulate the necessary European framework conditions for deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS), and enhance the awareness of ITS benefits amongst decision-makers and opinion leaders.
Applied effectively, ITS can save lives, time and money as well as reduce the impact of mobility on the environment.