PUDUCHERRY: The transport department of Puducherry has come out with a comprehensive Road Safety Policy and Action Plan for the UT with an aim to reduce 10% of fatalities every year from 2023 to 2028 and achieve a 50% reduction by 2028. This will help the UT to move forward in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda 2030 of attaining zero road fatalities.
The policy aligning with the six 'Es' strategy recommended by the National Road Safety policy guidelines aims to have stricter enforcement of road traffic rules, according to a recent notification. Education: The government intends to enhance road safety awareness among the public, especially school/college students. Initiatives include awareness campaigns through media, teacher training, and volunteer training to aid in saving lives during the critical golden hour.
Enforcement: Puducherry will enforce a zero-tolerance policy for traffic violations, employing more law enforcement officials and traffic wardens with proper equipment.Engineering (roads and infrastructure): Road safety audits will be conducted at all stages, black spots on major roads will be identified and addressed, and proper road infrastructure standards will be maintained. Identification of locations with high accident rates will be mapped and corrective measures undertaken to reduce conflicts in moving traffic. Lighting, pedestrian facilities, and road signs will be upgraded to ensure safety.
Engineering (safer vehicles): The government will focus on promoting statutory periodic inspections, vehicle scrapping facilities, and monitoring the installation of safety devices.Emergency care: Puducherry will establish an efficient emergency medical services system to provide rapid trauma care and health management for accident victims. Ambulances will be equipped with life-saving equipment, and an integrated software system will facilitate quick response and insurance claims. A single toll-free helpline system was established for seamless networking amongst health facilities, rescue services, and an existing fleet of ambulances.
Enactment (strengthening of institutional mechanism): The government will strengthen the institutional arrangement to coordinate between departments and utilize the road safety fund effectively. The district/regional/high-level Road Safety Committees and State Road Safety Council will oversee the progress and ensure that the goals are met. The policy and action plans will undergo periodic reviews, with goals being reset every three years to further enhance road safety in Puducherry.