Khurda registers maximum accidents, Keonjhar most fatalities

Bhubaneswar: The number of fatalities due to road accidents in a span of eight months from January to August 2017 spiralled to 3,184 with average 398 deaths recorded in a month in various districts of Odisha. While Khurda registered the maximum number of accidents, Keonjhar topped number of fatalities in such mishaps.

According to reports, in the first eight months of 2017, the state has recorded 7228 number of accidents with 3184 deaths which is approximately 2.55 per cent and 5.71 per cent more as compared to the 7084 accidents with 3020 deaths in the first eight months of 2016.

Keonjhar district tops the list with 215 deaths in 393 accidents, while Khurda district has recorded 594 cases with as many as 212 fatalities in the first eight months.

Reports further said, till now, only 741 out of the total proposed 2008 places on National Highways have been deployed with traffic personnel and in other places only 1994 junctions have been deployed with traffic personnel out of the 3703 required.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has expressed its unhappiness at poor enforcement of traffic laws in the state. Reports said 73 per cent fatalities occurred due to over speeding in 2015 but the State took action for suspension of Driving Licence of only 15.7 per cent (1917 suspended out of 12247 of over speeding cases detected).

On the other hand, overall suspension of DL is only 25.3 per cent of cases detected. Of the 1,84,221 detected offences which are liable for suspension, only 66,600 DLs were suspended from September 2015 to 2017, which is 36.15 per cent of the offences detected.

Considering high fatalities due to road accidents, a Committee was formed under Juctice Radhakrishen by the Supreme Court to review and suggest improvements to reduce fatalities.

In 2016, there was a 3.71 percent increase in fatalities in Odisha compared to 2015. The Committee had also directed to reduce the number of fatalities by 10 percent in 2017.

However, reports claimed that during January to September 2017, there has been a steep rise in fatalities by 5.71 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2016.

It has been alleged that although instruction for joint inspection of fatal accident spot has been given by appropriate authorities, it is not being implemented at field level.

Problems spotted:

1. Shortage of manpower in STA and RTAs apart from ever increasing work load.

2. Inadequate staff in the Lead Agency to follow up and analyse the reports.

3. Post of Addl. Commissioner Transport (Enf) in the rank of DIG vacant since long in STA

4. Enforcement activities need to be augmented by creating more field level posts of constables and TSIs.

5. Automated driving Testing System (ADTS) to replace manual testing.

Solutions:

  1. Inspection and Certification centre for automatic fitness check up of transport vehicles.
  2. Increasing the strength of MVIs for ensuring effective technical activities like DL test, Fitness test etc
  3. Increasing the strength of Enforcement staff for enforcement of traffic laws
  4. Introducing E-challan with use of Hand Held POS for strengthening enforcement activities.