Odisha needs stringent implementation of speed governors

Bhubaneswar: Clubbed among the 13 states with highest road accidents, Odisha needs to start a stringent speed governors regime to effectively bring down the alarming numbers, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) on Friday said.

“As over speeding by commercial vehicles has played a major role in accidental deaths in Odisha, the state must take immediate steps for installation of speed governors in these vehicles,” Kamaljit Soi, member – NRSC, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways told reporters here.

Soi, also the chairman of Raahat – The Safe Community Foundation, cited statistics of MORTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) from 2014 and said Odisha was among the 13 top states in the country with highest number of road accidents.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2014, there were 9,649 accidents during the year in which 4,299 persons died and 11,087 persons were severally injured, Soi said adding that the accident severity ratio (no of persons killed per 100 accidents) is at 40.7 per cent in Odisha, which is way higher in comparison to the national average.

Death per lakh population stands at 31.6 per cent against national average of 11 per cent, he said.

However, because of improper implementation and a lack of enforcement, the desired results for installation of speed governors could not be achieved. The state kept on giving relaxation citing non-availability of speed governors in the market, said Soi.

No effort, however, has been made by the state to ensure availability of speed governors to achieve the intent and directions of the Supreme Court.

Stating that the most effective way to reduce these alarming statistics is by slowing down on our roads, Soi said if speed was controlled chances of being killed or seriously injured in road accidents would dramatically decrease.

Speeding is not just driving faster than the speed limit. It is also driving too fast for the weather, light, traffic and road conditions.

Recently, Ministry Of Road Transport & Highways issued a notification asking the state government to specify categories of transport vehicles registered prior to October 1, 2015, which are not already fitted with a speed governor and not exempted in the provision in the Rule, on or before April 1 with a maximum preset speed as may be specified in the notification or by the state government, he said.

Proper introduction of speed governors regime can be achieved if it was implemented by the states through tender/ eligibility criteria process for selection of manufacturers, he said.