THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Lack of timely medical attention has resulted in numerous fatal road accidents. To reduce the number of road accidents and to ensure victims receive medical attention on time, the state government has launched the Safe Kerala Project where a 24*7 enforcement squad is enforcing road laws and rescue operations in the city.
Despite hopes of reducing the rate of accidents by 2020, the project will take time to work in a fully-fledged manner as the assistant police officers who are new recruits require on-field training. Control rooms are also being set up. Eight-five squads have been appointed in the state under the control of the RTO (enforcement), out of which eight enforcement squads have been assigned in Thiruvananthapuram. An RTO grade officer has been appointed as the State nodal officer of the Safe Kerala Project under the direct supervision of the Joint Transport Commissioner (reinforcement).
Shibu K Itty, the project's nodal officer, said, “With this project, we aim to reduce the fatality of the accidents by 10 per cent in the first quarter itself. Often people fail to take general precautionary measures and safety gadgets such as helmets and seatbelts. There are only 10 per cent people who abide by the law. In 2018, around 40,181 road accidents were reported wherein most resulted from the violation of laws. The project can be manned only by technical officers who can infer the cause of the accidents."
As per the order, the eight 24*7 squads spread across the city must conduct regular inspections even after 8 pm to check road accidents and ensure the accident victims receive medical attention within the 'golden hour', which is one hour after the accident occurs.
“Regular inspections are being held in the city and a list of all the road accidents and the violations in road laws is being prepared by the squads which will be submitted to the transport commissioner (Enforcement) within six months. The effectiveness of the project can be obtained once the list is obtained,” said one of the enforcement squads.The squads have also been directed to conduct road audits on accident-prone areas and identify trees, poles which supposedly pose threat to the traffic.
The reports will then be submitted to the district road safety councils, Transport Commissioner, Road safety commissioner and the government every six months. The squads will submit details of the accidents in their respective areas.
By May, the project will gain momentum with newly recruited officers, control rooms across the state.