Manoj Kumar Jena

Drunk and reckless driving are the major reasons behind the surge in road accident deaths in Odisha, as per the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). These two are the reason behind 80 per cent of deaths occurring in road accidents. 

The NCRB data revealed that in the year 2022, 3,666 people died due to overspeeding while 120 people lost their lives in accidents due to the use of phones and 332 people died due to drunk driving. Reckless driving claimed 446 lives in the state and 12 died due to roadside parking.

Despite the Odisha government’s claim to curb accident cases in the state, the NCRB’s data has revealed concerning numbers, which are not a healthy figure when it comes to road safety.

 Seeing the concerning figures of accident death tolls in the state, the transport department mulling over implementing an Intelligent Enforcement Management System (IEMS) to control the accident rates. 

Due to the surge in figures of accident deaths, the road safety experts have blamed the state government for not taking necessary steps. 

“A road safety club needs to be introduced in all the educational institutions of Odisha. The youth and children should be made aware of road safety. A massive awareness programme needs to be conducted to teach about road safety as people in Odisha are losing their lives in large numbers to road accidents compared to a pandemic. If the govt fails to take serious steps, there will be no fall in the accident and death rates,” said an expert. 

The NCRB data also revealed that on average 32 accidents are taking place daily in the state and claiming 15 lives. 

In 2021, the cases of road accidents were at 10,983 and in 2022, the number saw an upsurge as it reported 11,663 mishaps.

Similarly, in 2021, 5,081 people lost their lives in road accidents and in 2022, the numbers kept increasing as it touched 5,470.

In 2022, 2,384 people died in two-wheeler accidents in the state. 

“Particularly the youngsters are into overspending and drunk driving. IEMS system and interceptor will be on active duty to control the accident rates,” said Additional Transport Commissioner Lalmohan Sethi.