BHUBANESWAR: Even as the road owning agencies claimed to have completed traffic calming measures at the junctions reporting frequent accidents, the rising fatalities at such places has emerged as a major concern for the State government, which is struggling to meet the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety’s direction for reduction of road deaths by 50 per cent.
A total 8,102 road junctions were identified to be accident-prone and if the road accident data compiled by the State Crime Branch is to be believed, 2,594 accidents have occurred at these junctions in which 1,164 people have died and 1,322 people grievously injured last year.
In 2020, the State recorded 4,738 fatalities on the roads and the deaths at junctions are about 25 per cent (pc) of total road accident deaths of the year. A Commerce and Transport department official said the strategies to rectify road engineering defects and calming measures need to be relooked given the rising number of accidents on the State roads.
“The road owning authorities might have undertaken rectification measures on the national and state highways, but it is essential to take up traffic calming measures on the arterial roads, which merge with the main carriageway. People suddenly come from arterial roads to main road leading to accidents,” he pointed out.
The Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety had directed to take up a number of enforcement, engineering, education and emergency care measures for reduction of road accidents and fatalities.
As per the direction of the Committee, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra during a high-level meet in August had also instructed the authorities concerned to take traffic calming measures at the junctions, where the feeder road merges with the main highway and submit a report within two months.
Since there is no compliance in this regard, Principal Secretary of Transport department Madhu Sudan Padhi has asked the Works department and NHAI to revisit the junctions and find out the reasons of re-occurrence of accidents. The officials have been directed to furnish the details within one month for further course of action.
There has been a steady increase in the number of fatalities from 3,931 in 2014 to 4,738 in 2020 in the State though the deaths had come down last year due to lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19. The maximum 5,333 people had died in road accidents in 2019 and 5,318 in 2018.
8,102 road junctions identified to be accident-prone
2,594 accidents occurred at these junctions last year; 1,164 people died, 1,322 injured
4,738 fatalities recorded in the State last year