Telangana Takes Up Some Constructive Steps To Ensure Safer Roads
- The Road Safety Authority will have a DGP ranked officer at its helm
- Road safety lessons will be made mandatory in schools
- Accident prone zones will be monitored heavily by the transport department
New Delhi: Mere increase in the number of traffic personnel on the streets or comprehensive approach to road safety, Telangana decided to go with the latter to combat the problem of road accident fatalities in the state. On April 16, several top officials of the transport ministry met to discuss the problem of road accidents in Telangana and potential solutions to curb the menace of road accident deaths. Looking to take inspiration from Kerala, Telangana will also have a Road Safety Act for the state and a Road Safety Authority which will formulate laws and rules for better road safety across the state.
A study was conducted last year by the state transport department to identify the causes of road accidents in Telangana. Approximately 7,000 people die in road accidents in Telangana every year, and more than 35,000 are injured. Kerala, which Telangana is looking to emulate in terms of road safety standards has an annual death toll of 4,000 people due to death accidents, one of the lowest across India. Emulating Kerala, Telangana will set up a Road Safety Authority headed by an officer of Deputy General of Police rank. It was also decided that a massive campaign will be started by the transport department to encourage drivers to follow the basics of road safety, such as use seat belts and follow traffic rules.
Drunk driving and rash driving are indeed causes of road accident deaths but they are not the only ones. Lack of awareness among people is also a major reason why Telangana has a high number of annual deaths due to road accidents. Like Kerala, we are trying to sensitise people about the benefits of following traffic regulations, said Sunil Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Transport, Telangana.
Road safety will be made a mandatory lesson in schools so that children can learn about the basics of traffic rules. The transport ministry has already asked traffic police departments across the state to identify accident prone zones. The number of police personnel, as well as traffic signal systems in these spots will be increased. The Road Safety Act will also have provision for a Road Safety Fund, which will look into compensations to the families of those deceased in road accidents, and bear the medical expenses of those who sustain injuries from road accidents.
“The target for us, as set by Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy, is to reduce the number of accidents to half by 2020. We are hopeful that once the Road Safety Act is implemented, our accident numbers will come down as we are focusing on monitoring accident prone zones, as well as sensitising people on a larger scale,” said Mr Sharma.