The Indian government is mulling the use of silicon and rubber in the manufacture of tyres to improve their durability as well as using nitrogen instead of normal air, as per international standards. Air is replaced with nitrogen to reduce the chances of tyres bursting with excessive heat. The announcement comes after a fatal road accident on the Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway, according to India’s Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari said the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has set up a committee to look into reasons behind the accident on the cement-concrete highway and will take strict action against those responsible. UP currently tops the list of major road accidents in India.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is mandated with the task of constructing and maintaining National Highways in the country – Gadkari said the central government has prepared INR 140 billion (US$ 2 billion) for preventative measures on road accidents which includes the new tyre manufacture and upkeep.
At the same time, the National Road Safety Policy outlines various policy measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information databases and encouraging safer road infrastructure, including the application of intelligent transport and enforcement of safety laws.
Gadkari himself favours technological advancement in automobiles for preventing road accidents: “The Ministry has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency care. Further, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has constituted a District Road Safety Committee in each district of the country to promote awareness amongst road users under the chairmanship of a district Member of Parliament.”
On a side note, Gadkari said there is a 2.5 million shortage of trained drivers in the country and also listed a number of ways to improve the condition of roads.