Punjab Records 15.7% Decline In Road Fatalities In 2017, Thanks To Crackdown On Traffic Violations
- Of the 400 accidental black spots, Punjab fixed 142 to reduce accidents
- Punjab deployed additional 2,000 traffic personnel to enforce traffic laws
- Green corridors are on the cards for uninterrupted movement of ambulances
New Delhi: Concerned over Punjab’s killer roads, where more than 13 people died in road accidents every day in 2016, the state traffic police department decided to examine the causes for high incidence of road accidents and the steps to take to make Punjab’s roads safer. Though, it has been only a year, the department’s role has been instrumental in bringing down the number of road accident fatalities in Punjab to 4,278 in 2017 as against 5,077 in 2016. According to the Punjab traffic police department, the crackdown against drunk driving, over-speeding, fixing black spots, deploying more traffic personnel and usage of scientific road safety equipment has led to almost 15.7 percent decline in road accident deaths in 2017.
Having set a target of 10 percent reduction in accidental deaths every year, the Punjab Traffic Police sought more scientific equipment like alcometers (device used by police to measure the alcohol content in a breath sample in order to determine if a person is legally drunk), speed guns and deployment of additional 2,000 traffic personnel. It also stressed on holding more traffic awareness programmes and honouring good Samaritans (who provide assistance to road accident victims).
Talking about the reduction in road accident fatalities, Dr Sharad Satya Chauhan, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Punjab said:
Punjab has witnessed 15.7 percent reduction in road fatalities in 2017… the sharpest decline in number of deaths. The percentage reduction in number of deaths in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan was 2.82 percent, 5.35 percent and 0.21 percent respectively. The first quarter of this year also witnessed a sharp decline in road fatalities with 1,070 accidental deaths were reported compared to 1,134 during the same period last year.
Apart from three E’s of road safety — Engineering, Enforcement and Education — the state government is also focusing on two more E’s — Engagement and Electronics.
Explaining about the various initiatives being taken by the Punjab government to save precious lives on the roads, the ADGP said:
To enable victims of road accidents to get medical help in time, we are developing ‘Green Corridors’ in all major cities to provide uninterrupted routes for free, safe and fast movement of ambulances from outskirts of the city up to the hospitals. In addition to this, around 32 traffic aid posts or ‘Saanjh’ posts are also being set up at each toll plaza where commuters could ask for free ambulance service and recovery van in case of accidents.
Furthermore, to encourage people to come forward and extend their help towards road accident victims, the Punjab traffic police department has launched “Bhai Kahnaiya Sewa Sanman Pattar” wherein Good Samaritans would be honoured on Republic Day and Independence Day for helping the accident victims.
In a bid to improve the road engineering, the state traffic police in association with Punjab’s Public Works Department (PWD) in 2017 identified around 400 accidental black spots out of which most critical 142 spots were improved and resulted in significant reduction of fatalities.
And, with the aim to modernise road engineering and traffic law enforcement approach, the traffic police department has also signed three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Punjab’s three premier technical institutes including Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College Ludhiana and Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Amritsar.
“This initiative would also help in setting up of research and development centre for the road safety in the state, the ADGP added.
In terms of educating the motorists to follow road safety measures, the state traffic police in association with various truck unions and state education department organised about 8,355 traffic awareness workshops in the last one year.
In a move towards using scientific ways to manage traffic violations, Dr Chauhan highlighted that the traffic police is working to set up its own Punjab Traffic Laboratory with the help of domain knowledge experts to tackle road fatalities, especially in Mohali, which has the highest fatality rate of 261 deaths per million, followed by Ropar with 252, Nawanshahr with 196 and Patiala with 176.
Also, for road safety training purposes, the Punjab Traffic Institute at Phillaur city will be upgraded.