The school bus accident that took place at the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam is still fresh in the minds of Vizagites. Now, a strategy has been put in place to help curb road accidents in the district and bring down fatalities by 50% by 2020.
At the inaugurated of a two-day workshop on ‘Training for trainers on road safety’, DGP N Sambasiva Rao stated that to understand the depth of how a road accident devastates a family, a police officer or constable in mufti should be sent personally to the house where the death of the bread-winner has occurred. He said that till now the police had only been observing and recording road accidents like every other crime, but have never focussed on the aftermath.
From now on, he believes it will no longer be the case. The police has mooted interventions that cause accidents – like usage of technology while driving. 1.10 lakh cases are registered across the state every year and 25,000 of those pertain to road accidents with 8000 of them resulting in fatalities. The statistics are worrying as amongst the fatalities, 18% are women and 82% are men. He believes it is worrying as most of the fatalities are of breadwinners in the family.
The DGP has advised senior officials to be innovative and come up with as many interventions as possible to bring down the accident rate. The state government has allotted 126 new road safety vehicles exclusively for NH-16 across 13 districts. The target now is to bring up the number of vehicles to 1000 in a year.
These vehicles will not only enforce rules, they will also be able to save lives by attending to the victim immediately. The CM has sanctioned Rs 25 crore for the project and allowed the usage of 40% of the challan fines for the same. Usage of cameras and IT will also be a part of the interventions now.
25,000 cameras will now be installed across the state for real time monitoring. Apps have been developed with instructions given to officers to upload details of accidents with pictures so proper analysis can be done and methods devised for prevention. The two-day workshop is for the same.
The DGP further advised senior officials to book erring drivers, drunk drivers and those driving on the wrong route under IPC Section 279 for rash driving. 11,000 black spots have been identified and talks are on with NHAI and civic bodies for road engineering to rectify the defects. 40% of the accidents on the NH reportedly occur at ‘T’ and ‘Y’ junctions. The focus now is to drive deep into the cause of accidents and to come up with prevention measures with the help of real time governance.