New Delhi: The ministry of road transport and highways has decided to conduct a safety audit of state highways that stretch across 3,000 km and district roads to identify accident spots and take corrective measures.

The audit this year will be conducted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI); state governments too will take part in the exercise.

The decision comes in the wake increasing road accidents in the country.

The ministry aims to reduce the number of fatalities by at least 50% in the next year by spending around 11,000 crore to rectify around 726 accident-prone spots across the country.

“Road safety audit is an evaluation of a highway at the end of construction and post-construction to identify road safety problems and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate any concerns," road secretary Sanjay Mitra said on Thursday at a road safety conference.

Such audits are done by teams of specialists trained in road safety engineering.

The government is also planning to start a programme to sensitize and educate truck drivers on road safety and benefits of ensuring the road worthiness of vehicles, the secretary said.

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), improvements in the condition of roads, road safety audits at all stages of road construction from planning onwards can reduce road fatalities in India by 90%, said K.K. Kapila, chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF).