Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: After an extended relaxation of 6 months, motorists will now have to be more cautious as Odisha Transport Department is gearing up for strict enforcement of new MV Act guidelines from March 1. State Transport Minister, Padmanabha Behera on Thursday informed that as the deadline for relaxation period is nearing, efforts will be initiated for a zero tolerance towards traffic violations.

“Enough time was given to people to get all necessary documents ready to comply with the new amended Motor Vehicles Act which had come to effect in September last year,” said Behera.

Behera further informed that the aim of the Transport department is to ensure motorists follow traffic norms and efforts are being initiated to ensure that road accidents are reduced by at least 50 per cent in the State.

“Enforcement activities by transport department staff and police will be intensified from March 1. Though we have a shortage of manpower, we will receive 70 per cent cooperation from Police department in implementing the order,” Behera added.

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It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha government had relaxed the enforcement of traffic rules under the amended MV Act by three months in the month of November 2019 following chaos and rush at RTOs across the State. It was for the second time that the government had to relax the enforcement of the new guidelines following a scuffle between public and Commissionerate Police in Bhubaneswar soon after the implementation of MV Act in September last year.

State Transport Authority (STA) officials informed that deaths in road accident saw a decline by 17% after Amended MV Act came into force on September 1, 2019. The casualties in road mishaps came down from 1,856 in Sept-Dec 2018 to 1541 in Sept-Dec 2019. The number of casualties declined by 315 in terms numbers and 17% less as compared to the said four-month period of 2019.

In 2019 there was a marginal rise of 0.3 percent in the casualties in road mishaps in comparison to 2018. There were 5,333 fatalities in 2019 against 5,315 fatalities which were registered in 2018. The overall road mishaps saw a drop by 1.8 per cent as 11,064 accidents were reported in 2019 against 11, 262 accidents reported in 2018.

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