Are police picking low-hanging fruits than rooting out factors behind fatal mishaps?

Nearly 33% of total road accidents were due to vehicular defects, whereas another over 41% were due to overloading or overcrowding. And proportion of accidents due to over speeding is around 26%

Bhubaneswar: While the amended Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) 2019 is being implemented to ensure road safety and curb the rising fatalities on the road, however, for the last 96 hours, none in Odisha was penalised for over speeding or overloading.

In fact, speed is the prime culprit behind the road accidents, as nearly 60 per cent road accidents took place on straight roads, the Y-and T-junctions in the State.

Moreover, when four in every ten accidents in the State are due to overloading or overcrowding or load protruding, and another around three per ten accidents are due to vehicular defects, the current checking done by the State police hardly cater to these salient safety aspects.

As per reports, in the backdrop of new MVA, the State Police are seemingly making easy targets like not wearing helmets or having DLs (Driving Licenses) etc, though it has also been observed that the police at places are using breath analysers to curb the menace of drunk driving, which is a big cause behind road accidents in the State.

Why the salient aspects that could curb road accidents are utmost necessary for the State?  Because, in every 100 accidents, around 53 lives were cut short in the State against the national average of mere 29. And the deaths due to road accidents accounted for a high of over 12 persons per lakh population in 2018.

According to the 2018 road accident statistics available with the State Transport Department, nearly 33 per cent of total road accidents were due to defects in vehicles like defective brakes or steering, punctured/burst/bald tyres, etc. And another whopping over 41 per cent were due to overloading/overcrowding or load protruding. The proportion of accidents following over speeding is estimated at around 26 per cent.

However, drunk driving accounts for little over 1 per cent of the total accidents.

So, when the State Transport Department has such critical statistics, it’s high time on the part of the Road Transport Offices (RTOs) and traffic police to go for checking such vital safety aspects invoking the amended MVA 2019. Because, data showed this can prevent nearly 80 per cent of road accidents in the State.

This seems all the more essential for the State as the year 2018 saw a rise in fatalities by a massive 525 vis-a-vis the year 2017, which is fourth highest rise in the country.