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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha witnessed a significant reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities since the implementation of amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act across the country from September 1, 2019, informed State transport Minister Padmanabha Behera.

According to data given by Behera, the number of road accidents have gone down by 355 (a reduction of 9.93 per cent) and deaths by 201 (-12.29 per cent) between September and December in 2019 in comparison to the same period in 2018.

While 3573 accidents occurred between September and December in 2018, 1635 persons lost their lives and 3910 persons were injured. On the other hand, the State registered 3218 road accidents between September and December 2019 in which 1434 persons have died and 3330 injured.

Similarly, the number of accidents reduced by 177 (-5.78 per cent) and deaths slumped by 227 (-14.36 per cent) between January and March in 2019 as compared to the same period the previous year.

While 3058 accidents occurred between January and March in 2019, 1580 fatalities and 3233 injuries were recorded. Similarly, the State registered 2881 road accidents between January and March 2020 leading to 1353 deaths and 2882 injuries.

The State Transport Minister said that accidents have plummeted further after March 2020 due to enforcement of nationwide lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Notably, the amended MV Act which came into effect from September 1, 2019 witnessed protest across the country due to steep penalties. It also triggered unprecedented rush of vehicle owners to RTOs to get their necessary documents.

In view of discontent among the vehicles owners, the Odisha Government had relaxed enforcement of the new MV Act by several months to give people more time to avail driving licence, registration and pollution certificates.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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