Could Analysing Accidents With GPS Data Make Indian Roads Safer?
- GPS to be used to collect more data on accidents
- Data to be used to determine cause of accidents and eliminate flaws
- Many aspects of road safety remain unreported or underreported
An expert committee set up by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has recommended a new format, which includes use of GPS, to collect more precise data on road accidents. The new format will be crucial as the data forms the basis for analysing the cause of accidents, identifying black spots and taking corrective steps to eliminate the flaws. The recommendations have been accepted by the Centre and have now been forwarded to the states and union territories so that all have a uniform format to record road accidents.
Data on road accidents is compiled by MoRTH.
The panel, formed in November 2016, comprises officials from MoRTH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state transport and police departments and experts from IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kharagpur. Traffic experts said the existing data is highly flawed and many aspects related to road safety remain unreported or underreported.
The current data shows only 10 per cent of casualties are pedestrians. However, our study revealed that 50 per cent of victims of road accidents in Delhi are pedestrians while the figure goes to 65 per cent in Mumbai, said Geetam Tiwari, an IIT professor, who was a part of the panel.
Kirti Saxena, senior advisor with the Transport Research Wing (TRW) of the MoRTH, said the earlier data recording system does not take into consideration aspects like engineering defects, road surface conditions, over-loading and condition of vehicles. In case of an accident, the blame was put on the drivers.
The new data format also lays emphasis on use of GPS coordinates to get accurate location of accident spots. However, at places where the police station does not have GPS facility, the format has the provision of giving landmarks.
Emphasis has been given on accident identification details, road-related details, vehicles involved in accidents, driver details and persons other than driver involved in the accident, said Sudhanshu Mitra, a professor with IIT-Kharagpur, who is the part of the committee.
Saxena said the Centre has accepted the recommendations of the committee and have sent it to the chief secretaries of the states.