Vikash Sharma

In view of the steep rise in the number of road accidents and fatalities, the Odisha government is contemplating to formulate a special policy for conducting forensic investigation into the road fatalities. The State Transport Department has prepared a draft, ‘Odisha Crash Investigation Policy, 2022’ for necessary approvals of the state government.

India ranks top in global road accident deaths and injuries and Odisha is one among other States which has shown sharp rise in road crash fatalities between 2015-2020. Under such circumstances, it becomes highly imperative to assess and analyze crashes to understand the risk factors involved and suggest counter measures to prevent such casualties.

As per the draft policy, the government has decided to conduct a well-defined crash investigation procedure for scientific investigation of road crashes resulting in the death of three or more persons.

The investigation will be carried out by a special ‘Crash Investigation Team’ consisting of the Investigating Officer (concerned Police Officer), designated Engineer of the concerned Road Owning Authority and Technical Officer of RTO. The team is expected to conduct a time bound investigation of all crashes.

Duties of Investigating Police Officer

Police Officer not below the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector, will initiate the investigation within 24 hours of the crash. The officer will inform other members of the Road Crash Investigation Team and record the statements of victims and other eyewitness along with other formalities.

Duties of the investigating Engineer of concerned road owning authority

The engineer will ensure proper investigation of the scene with scene photographs from road engineering point of view. The investigation should be conducted covering human, vehicular, Infrastructure and environmental factors leading to the crash.

Duties of the Investigating Technical Officer in Road Crash case

The officer will conduct vehicle inspection as per Section 136 of MV Act 1988 and other related sections and look after other issues/aspects. All the members of the Road Crash Investigation Team will convene a meeting within 5 working days to finalise and submit the final crash investigation report.

(Reported By Harihar Chand)