IndiaRAP has come a step closer to reality with the secondment of an Australian roads engineer on a six month placement to lead discussions with Indian partners.
Alison Leeson, who has worked for VicRoads since 2001, will work closely with Central and State Government stakeholders to shape a locally led IndiaRAP programme for the future. The Australian state road agency, VicRoads, has long been a leader in road safety. An innovator and first adopter, the agency leads the way with billion dollar investment partnerships with the third-party insurer TAC to drive large scale investment in safer roads across the state.
Building on the successful iRAP project partnerships with the World Bank, MoRTH, NHAI and State Governments including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Telangana, Utter Pradesh and Punjab, the IndiaRAP initiative will look to unlock the programme level benefits of partnerships focused on safer roads.
‘India is the biggest priority for iRAP right now,’ said Alison. ‘About 137,000 deaths are reported on India’s roads each year, with the WHO estimate suggesting 207,551 people are killed each year. .
‘With a massive investment in road building in India there is a great opportunity to bring the roads up to a 3, 4 and 5-star standard and save many lives. Bringing expertise from the RAP partners around the world to work with our colleagues in India will help accelerate best practice in India.’
During her secondment Alison will be consulting with local partners to determine the best way to establish and maximise the life-saving impact of IndiaRAP. ‘For IndiaRAP to be successful it needs to be developed, led and grown by local road safety champions,’ Alison said. ‘I look forward to meeting those local experts and shaping the future. It’s great to be here in India as I’ve always wanted to work internationally in a role that would help to save lives!’
iRAP CEO Rob McInerney said: ‘Alison has a passion for road safety and is keen to make a difference. Her extensive road safety knowledge at the institutional, policy, design and project level from her career with VicRoads will allow her to engage with all the key stakeholders across India and shape a great IndiaRAP for the future.
‘This is a great and generous contribution from Alison and VicRoads to iRAP’s charitable work around the world. We look forward to similar partnerships as we all join forces to fight the burden of road trauma worldwide’.