Assam Transport Department launches ‘Path Suraksha Jan Andolan’
In line with the Chief Minister's appeal to make road safety awareness a mass movement, Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya inaugurated the 'Path Suraksha Jan Andolan,' a statewide awareness campaign, on Sunday.
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
GUWAHATI: In line with the Chief Minister's appeal to make road safety awareness a mass movement, Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya inaugurated the 'Path Suraksha Jan Andolan,' a statewide awareness campaign, on Sunday. The campaign was initiated on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, aiming to reduce road accidents and fatalities in Assam.
In the period from January to October this year, the state recorded a concerning 6001 accidents, leading to 2606 fatalities and 4800 injuries. The top five districts with the highest fatalities during this period were Kamrup (R), Kamrup (M), Nagaon, Sonitpur, and Goalpara. Notably, 40.89 per cent of accidents occurred between 15:00 and 21:00 hours, with 40 per cent happening on national highways. Furthermore, 76 per cent of accidents occurred in open spaces, residential zones, and market areas. A disconcerting statistic revealed that in 2021, 78.88% of total deaths occurred within the age group of 18 to 45 years, representing the most productive segment of the population.
In the same year, pedestrians and non-motorised vehicle users accounted for a significant 28% of crash victims, underscoring the vulnerability of these road users. Furthermore, a startling 60% of crashes involve two-wheelers and four-wheelers, emphasising the urgent need for targeted safety measures. Adding to the concern, heavy vehicles like buses and trucks contribute to 8% of the total crashes on these highways. On the other hand, over-speeding tops the list at 68%, followed by driving on the wrong side (7.12%), drunken driving (9.14%), mobile phone use (3.60%), red light jumping (1.52%), and 10.84% attributed to various other causes.
Following the awareness campaign, a bike rally was led by the Transport Minister himself, covering 35 districts, 126 LACs, accident-prone areas, etc. The rally will include awareness meetings with stakeholders, government officials, students, drivers, and the public to sensitize them on the necessity of road safety and instill a sense of responsibility among citizens. The flag-off ceremony and the awareness meeting will take place at the District Commissioner Office, Amingaon, in the presence of officials from the stakeholder departments and the families of road accident victims.
The alarming statistics necessitate immediate attention. The government is doing its best in terms of education and awareness, enforcement, engineering, and emergency care; however, people's involvement is the key. In an effort to cultivate a culture of road safety, adherence to traffic rules, and responsible behaviour on the roads, this statewide awareness campaign will symbolise the government's commitment to reducing road accidents and safeguarding lives.
Following the awareness campaign, the Transport Department has also collaborated with Save LIFE Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on road safety, to conduct a road safety audit of Kamrup (M) and Kamrup (Rural) as part of their "Zero Fatality District" program. The audit, scheduled from November 20 to 25, will comprehensively cover engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency care. Save LIFE Foundation (SLF) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to enhancing road safety and emergency medical care across India. SLF combines evidence-based research with policy advocacy, communication, and on-ground project execution to achieve its goals, stated a press release.