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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as wilting under pressure CM Naveen Patnaik proposed a sort of moratorium on implementing the new Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) 2019 for a span of 90-days,  the CM needs to heed  to what a well-known India-American neuroscientist VS Ramachandran had once said, "The minute you succumb to outside pressure, you cease to be creative."

To draw their pound of flesh, vested groups, including Motor Vehicles Owners Association  and some political parties, have started demanding for a complete roll back.

The need of the hour was a calibrated approach to entire gamut of MVA 2019, rather than roll back or moratorium. Because, the fatalities on roads in Odisha had grown by a massive 51 per cent between 2014 - 2018.  A total of 3,506 fatalities were recorded in 2014 in Odisha, which jumped to 5,315 in 2018.

The black spot for the State is, accident deaths have increased by 13 percent in the first five months of Jan-May 2019 with a total toll of 2,532 vis-a-vis 2,238 in 2018.  

And the detailed data available with the State Transport Department looks more devilish.

While deaths due to accidents involving trucks/HCVs (heavy commercial vehicles) corner around 32.3 per cent of total fatalities on roads, two-wheelers account for another 32.4 per cent. And the toll in autorickshaw-related accidents account for another 4 per cent.

The State Transport Department data shared with the Apex court's Committee on Road Safety reveals that more than half of the vehicles involved in the fatal accidents were around 10-15-years old. And the drivers on learner's licence were responsible for majority of fatal accidents in the State.

High speed or competitive speed to overtake took around 81 per cent of the fatality burden. Besides, data showed how better traffic management involving regulation of speed of vehicles could have worked wonders for the State when over 51 per cent of fatalities occurred in uncontrolled areas last year.

Moreover, the analysis revealed that nearly 6,548 accidents happened either during overtaking, overturning or traffic negotiations.

Also, a whopping 68 per cent accident could have been minimised had there been a regulation on the speed of the vehicles, finds the analysis.

More startling facts: Odisha is 3rd nationally in recording accidents where mobile phones proved to be the killer cause.  Added to this, single lanes in Odisha shared the most burdens as they recorded a big 54 per cent of fatality on roads over the years.

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