Road Safety Engineering Plan, Behavioural Changes And Enforcement Should Be The Top Priority: CS Pradeep Jena

Road Safety Engineering Plan, Behavioural Changes And Enforcement Should Be The Top Priority: CS Pradeep Jena

Bhubaneswar: In an initiative to enhance road safety and minimize fatalities, a crucial preparatory meeting took place at LokSeva Bhawan today, presided over by the Chief Secretary of Odisha, Shri Pradeep Kumar Jena. The primary objective of the meeting was to strategize and plan for the forthcoming Zero Fatality Week, scheduled to be observed from the 1st to the 7th of December 2023.

The responsibility of organizing this impactful week falls under the purview of the Commerce and Transport Department, which aims to unite various stakeholders, including representatives from the Home Department, road-owning agencies, health and family welfare (H&FW), education, and housing and urban development (H&UD) departments, among others. This collaborative effort seeks to address and mitigate the multifaceted factors contributing to road accidents and fatalities.

Road Safety Engineering Plan, Behavioural Changes And Enforcement Should Be The Top Priority: CS Pradeep Jena

In the meeting held, Development Commissioner-Cum-ACS, Smt. Anu Garg,DGP Shri Sunil Kumar Bansal, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Transport Department, Smt. Usha Padhee, Principal Secretary, RD &I & PR Department Sri Sanjay Kumar Singh, Transport Commissioner-Chairman,STA Sri Amitabh Thakur, other officers of the C & T Department, and NHAI officials were present, whereas collectors, SPs, and district-level functionaries of all districts attended the meeting through the OSWAS platform.

Initiating the discussion, C&T Department Principal Secretary Smt. Padhee presented details about the road accident scenario in Odisha. There were 8,939 road accidents, 4,178 fatalities, and 7,898 injuries during the year 2023, from January to September. There is a 2.844% increase in accidents in 2023(January to September) and a 4.89% increase in fatalities (January to September) as compared to 2022 of the same period, where there were 11,663 i.e., 6.19% increase in road accidents in 2022 as compared to 2021 and 7.5% increase in fatalities in 2022 as compared to the year 2021.

            The vision of Zero Fatality Week is to reduce further the rate of increase in road accident and fatalities. The State Government is committed to address this issue and with aim to Zero Fatality during 1stto 7th Dec, 2023, the Govt. in C & T Department has given instruction to all Districts to prepare action plan for each district in response to SOP given to all RTOs.

            As per information, in the Zero Fatality Week observed in last April-2023, there was33 % decrease in accidents and 14.6 % decrease in fatalities during the same period in 2022.Boudh, Rayagada, Sonepur, Bhadrak, Malkangiri ,Nayagada and Sambalpurdistrict are top performing districts that observed 100% reduction in fatalities during that period.

Chief Secretary Sri Jena advised all collectors to achieve better than the previous time, get all government offices and employees involved, and work out an activity plan. He also said to involve school students, NGOs, civil societies, and SHGs in this campaign. BDOs are to conduct meetings at the GPs and Panchayat Samiti levels to get the participation of PRI members. SHG members who have scooters under the ‘Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana’ and are learners should be sensitized to be less prone to accidents. The road safety engineering plan, behavioral changes, and enforcement should be top priorities in observance of Zero Fatality Week, he urged. The effort toward zero fatalities should continue even after the observance.

Chief Secretary also focused that as coming December to February are picnic months,   we should prepare for zero fatality and also pollution free picnic as there is possibility of pollution of environment due to use of large quantity of polyethylene bags at different picnic spots of the State.

            Participating in the discussion, D.C-Cum ACS, Smt Garg said that all Stakeholders to visit trauma care centers in nearby hospitals so that we can ensure our preparedness and save life of victims during golden hour of accident occurred. Necessary publicity and awareness drive will be carried out by I&PR Department to sensitize the public through print, electronic media and social media to reduce road accident and fatality. It was also discussed in the meeting that accident victim, should be promptly attended to whether in private and government facility available.

            Detail enforcement  schedules has been  chalked out  by the  C & T department  action against violations  like  drunken driving, Helmetless driving, use of mobile phones while  driving, over speeding, triple riding, insurance, illegal parking, wrong side driving etc.

            Awareness plan prepared on publicity of Citizen Sentinel App to report violations, Road safety awareness through driving training schools and DTIs, Broadcast road safety awareness messages through various network services, mobile vans to spread road safety measures, awareness programmes in schools and colleges during morning assembly, involvement of private stakeholders like truck, bus, dumper owner associations to raise awareness about road safety was discussed. Best performing organisations to be acknowledged and awarded.

NHAI, RD, and R&B authorities have been directed to conduct a monthly meeting, ensuring at least one session per month to address issues such as pothole removal, barrier repair, road enhancement, and the identification of accident-prone black spots. All relevant departments have been sensitized to their roles with detailed instructions.