Cuttack: Odisha has registered negative growth in road accidental death in the month of July as compared to July, 2021. The fatalities have come down by 4.01 %. In July 2021, 399 people died in road accidents. However in July 2022 the number has come down to 383.
It is pertinent to note that in first quarter of the year, the State has recorded a negative growth of 10.37 in accidents and 7.55 negative growth in fatalities. The State recorded 2895 road accidents resulting in 1359 deaths during same period whereas 3230 accidents and 1470 deaths were registered during the first quarter in the previous year, the State Transport Authority (STA), Odisha said.
However second quarter of 2022 saw a substantial increase in accident and fatalities in comparison to 2021 for the same period. “During COVID-19 period restrictions were imposed on movement of vehicles which resulted in less number of accidents. The high growth in accident and fatalities during the 2nd quarterof 2022 is due to regular movement of vehicles,” said Lalmohan Sethi, Additional Commissioner Transport, Road Safety & Enforcement.
Sethi further added, “The negative growth in fatalities has been achieved due to strict enforcement of road safety norms across the State.During 2021-22, a total of 2, 47,945 e-challans were issued whereas in 2022-23, a total of 2, 86,682 challans have already been issued between April-September. The frequency of enforcement drive has been increased and a consistent effort in this regard will help us reducing road accidents in the state.”
Odisha has adopted a four-fold strategy to make the roads safe through 4Es- enforcement, education, improvement in road engineering and emergency care. The state has scored 66 per cent and categorized as ‘high performer’ in implementing road safety measures during audit conducted by the Supreme Court Committee on road safety.The Supreme Court Committee has also rated some of Odisha’s initiatives as best practices and suggested recommendation to neighbouring states.
Till date around 11000 first respondersstaying near accident prone areas have been trained across Odisha under OperationRakshak. In yet another bid to improve road safety scenario in the State, Odisha has initiated refresher training programme ‘Vahak’ for heavy vehicle drivers of the State to hone the skills of drivers and in turn help in reducing accident in the state. So far around 1500 HMV drivers have been trained at HMV Driving School, Chhatia. The department is planning to scale up the training programme with an aim to train around 1 lakh HMV drivers in the state.
Recently Odisha organised National Road Safety Short Film Festival, 2022 a first-of-its-kind event in the country. There was an overwhelming response for the festival. A total of 230 entries were received in 6 languages from 8 states. The top films are being screened in the movie theatres across the state to create awareness about road safety.
With an aim to make roads in Odisha, 100% road signage compliant, the state has started a unique initiative of road signage audit. Audit of 3059 KMs of NH and SH in the state is already completed and report has been submitted to the stakeholders for necessary rectification. Further, additional 5000 km road audit has been proposed.
The Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) project is implemented in Sundargarh District covering the municipal areas of Sundargarh, Rajgangpur and Birmitrapur. Soon the command-and-control centre for CCTV/ANPR will be functional and the footage will be monitored continuously for issuing E challans to the traffic violators.
As per Supreme Court Committee guidelines, the state govt is working towards construction of Truck Terminals and comprehensive Trauma System Care. Road Safety training is being provided to Engineers, commercial drivers, traffic police personnel, highway engineers and planners in a systematic process through a well-planned training calendar.