The state government has decided to constitute expert committees in each district to analyse causes of road accidents and suggest remedial measures to minimize such mishaps. Additional district magistrate (ADM) will head the committee in districts.
“We will constitute district level road safety monitoring committees (DRSMCs) under the chairmanship of ADM. Regional transport officer will be the committee’s member convener. Additional district medical officer, deputy superintendent of police, executive engineer (road and buildings), district education officer and junior motor vehicle inspector will be the members,” state transport department secretary Madhusudan Padhi said.
At present, each district has a district road safety committee (DRSC) headed by a collector. Transport department said the DRSC will continue to function along with the DRSMC in each district.
Sources said DRSC in districts hardly convened meetings regularly because of the busy schedules of the district collectors. Prime job of DRSC is to devise plans to minimise accidents and deaths. The Supreme Court committee on road safety too recently expressed displeasure over irregular meetings by DRSCs.
“Main task of the DRSMC will also be the same like the DRSC. DRSMC will hold meeting once a month. We feel that an ADM, who is chairman of DRSMC, is relatively less busy than a district collector. So the ADM can hold meetings in regular intervals,” another transport official said.
The new committee will ensure that a road engineer, police officer and junior motor vehicle inspector visit each fatal accident site and find out the causes of the mishaps. “The technical team will submit its report to the DRSMC. The monitoring committee will examine the report and recommend measures to prevent recurrence of the accidents. The committee will find out if there is fault in road designs. The committee will also monitor implementation of district road safety action plans,” read a recent letter by the transport department to all district collectors.
Accident deaths saw marginal increase in the state in 2019 compared to 2018. The transport department said a total 5,333 persons were killed in road mishaps across Odisha in 2019, up by 0.3 percent from 5315 deaths in 2018. Notably, accident deaths had soared alarmingly by 9.5 % in 2015, 3.7% in 2016, 7.3 % in 2017 and 11 % in 2018. Steep penalties under the amended motor vehicles (MV) Act that came into force in September 2019 benefited the state in taming accident deaths to a great extent in 2019.Source: TOI