Pradeep Pattanayak

The Keonjhar road accident that occurred on Friday, the first day of the zero fatality week, seems to have acted as a wake-up call for the authorities concerned.  In the accident, a van rammed into a stationary truck parked on the road and claimed eight lives.

The regional transport office-1, Bhubaneswar on Saturday requested truck and other drivers not to park their vehicles on the road. 

During the observance of the zero fatality week, the RTO-I, Bhubaneswar is taking a tough stand against the drivers who are parking their vehicles on the road. Regional Transport Officer, Zone-I, Bikash Choudhury said action will be taken against drivers who are found parking their vehicles at places other than the designated parking spaces along the National Highways. 

Also Read: Pilgrimage turns tragic: 8 dead, 7 critical as van hits parked truck on NH in Odisha

“During this zero fatality week, we are taking several steps. Yesterday, we launched a drive to check drunk driving. During the daytime, we issued challans to 49 drunk drivers near Ganganagar and during the evening, 12 drunk drivers were issued challans. The same exercise is being carried out in zone II area,” said Choudhury. 

“We have taken up a seven-day-long programme. We are holding awareness sessions in schools. I would like to request the drivers of all vehicles not to park their vehicles on the road because cases of collision against stationary vehicles are frequently occurring,” he added. 

Notably, eight persons lost their lives and seven others were critically injured after the van they were travelling in, rear-ended a truck parked on National Highway-20 near Balijodi in Keonjhar, just a few kilometres away from the Maa Tarini shrine in the wee hours of Friday.

The van with 19 persons on board was on its way to Maa Tarini shrine at Ghatagaon in Keonjhar district from Digapahandi in Ganjam when the mishap occurred.

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