THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With road accidents on the rise in the state, the Motor Vehicles, Police and Public Works Departments are showing renewed interest in a Joint Action Plan launched in April last year. The action plan had been prepared following the United Nations’ declaration to observe 2011-2021 as road safety decade.
Now, the government departments have expedited steps to check road accidents and accident-related deaths in the light of alarming statistics.
As per figures released by the Police Department, 698 persons were killed in road accidents in January and February alone. 2011 claimed 200 more lives in road accidents than 2010.
Health Department and National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), incorporated in the plan, have also intensified the steps to prevent road accidents.
Health Department has been allocated Rs 50 lakh to buy ambulances for extending the ‘108’ service.
Also it has been alerted to provide speedy treatment to accident victims and awareness programmes are on to sensitise the public on this aspect.
NATPAC has been allotted Rs 4 crore to find out the black spots and accident prone areas and the Motor Vehicles Department has been allotted to Rs 15.64 crore to carry out the plan.
“We are conducting extensive awareness programmes which have been carried out mainly through students, teachers and driving school instructors. A training programme is also going on for goods vehicle drivers especially for tipper lorry drivers,” said Joint Transport Commissioner Alex Paul.
Surveillance cameras, first introduced in the city and then extended to Kochi and Kozhikode would be installed in all major traffic spots of the state.
Already 62 cameras have been installed in Thiruvananthapuram, 16 in Kochi and 27 in Kozhikode at a cost of Rs 6 crore, which have made a noteworthy impact in catching traffic violators.
PWD was allotted Rs 6 crore and the department has been engaged in installing more road signs as part of the action plan. However, the officials admitted that the action plan was not progressing at the expected pace and that immediate steps had to be taken rather than conducting meetings and awareness programmes to achieve its aim.