CUTTACK: The State Government has set an ambitious goal of reducing road accidents by 20 per cent within next three years. The goal can only be achieved by coordinated efforts of the Government, transport organisations, road users and other agencies, said State Transport Commissioner M Akhay here on Sunday.
Inaugurating the Road Safety Week programme at the Driving Training Park at CDA here, Akhay expressed his concern over the rising road accidents and deaths in the State. The rate of accidents in the State has surpassed the national average even though the density of vehicles is far lower.
Road accidents claimed about 1.30 lakh lives in India every year with economic loss to the tune of `55,000 crore. Of the number, Odisha accounted for 4,000 deaths in around 10,000 accidents.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s accident data for 2013, the rate of deaths per 1000 vehicles was 1.1 in the State against national rate of 0.9. There were around 38 lakh vehicles registered in the State.
“Road accident has emerged as the largest killer and assumed the shape of an epidemic. There should be proper sensitisation among the public on road safety issues. Compliance to traffic rules by users from the grassroots level should be increased in order to counter the menace,” Akhay emphasised.
Cuttack DCP Sanjiv Arora said the Commissionerate Police has launched an intensive programme to educate road users and drivers on safety issues.
A permanent cell on road safety and traffic rules would soon be set up at Phulnakhara. Designed on the lines of Kerala, it will undertake sensitisation programmes for the public, said Additional District Magistrate (ADM) BB Das.
The brave Class IV student of Odisha Brigade Sainik School, Mahanga, Sk Arzoo Ali, who had rescued several school children from the van which had met with an accident was also honoured on the occasion. Akhay presented him a cash prize of `5,000.