BHUBANESWAR: Concerned over rising road fatalities, the Odisha government on Thursday directed all Collectors to conduct joint inspections of accident spots from August 1 and share the data with the Transport Department regularly without fail.
The direction came after most of the districts were found skipping joint inspections of accident spots in defiance of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety that had stressed on regular inspections and remedial measures as suggested by the inquiry team.
As per the directive of the apex court committee, the districts should conduct a joint inspection involving a technical team comprising members from police, transport and road engineering at the spots where fatal and grievous injury accidents occurred.
Expressing concern over the non-compliance, Principal Secretary of Transport and Commerce Madhu Sudan Padhi has asked all Collectors to conduct joint inspections of accident spots and submit reports to the Transport Commissioner and Deputy Director (Road Safety) on a regular basis.
A joint inspection format has been prepared and shared with the districts. While a mobile app - Road Accident Management of Information System (RAMIS) for online submission of data is being developed, the Collectors have been directed to submit the report through the department's WhatsApp monitoring group till the online application is rolled out.
As instructed, the Road Safety Officer (Assistant MVI or junior MVI) of RTO office in every district will co-ordinate with police and road engineer concerned for conduct of joint inspection within 48 hours of receipt of accident information and ensure that the report is submitted properly.
The Director of State Crime Records Bureau is sharing the district wise road accident data on daily basis in the road safety state monitoring group. For effective co-ordination among the officials concerned at district level, each RTO has been asked to form a WhatsApp group involving IICs of all police stations, executive engineers, assistant executive engineers of all roads owning authorities, project directors of NHAI and MVIs.
Warning that non-submission of the joint inspection report without any valid reason will be viewed seriously, Padhi has advised districts to share a copy of the joint inspection report with the Crime Branch and Chief Engineers by the Police Officer and Road Engineer respectively.
There has been a steady increase in road deaths from 3931 in 2014 to 4738 in 2020, up by about 21 per cent. While the deaths came down in 2020 due to the lockdown following the Covid outbreak, 5333 people had died in road accidents in 2019 and 5318 in 2018.
The trend continued as road accident fatalities rose from 1471 between January to April in 2020 to 1877 during the same period this year with an increase of about 27.6 per cent.