306 LIVES LOST IN ROAD ACCIDENTS IN LAST 5 MONTHS
GUWAHATI: Worried over the loss of 306 lives in road accidents in the past five months in the state, the State Government discussed a few concrete measures today to check such mishaps. The government also reviewed the corrective measures taken on the 132 accident-prone spots called black spots on roads and highways in the state.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reviewed the issue of rising accidents in the state with the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police, top officials of the PWD, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), the Transport Department, etc. The Chief Minister asked the DCs, SPs, and DTOs to ascertain if the corrective measures taken at the black spots were appropriate. If not, he asked the officials to take the appropriate measures immediately.
The meeting identified overspeeding as one of the most common reasons behind road accidents in the state. Around 68 percent of total accidents in the state take place due to overspeeding. The other reasons are wrong parking, drunk driving, using a mobile phone while driving, etc. Apart from these, engineering faults also lead to accidents in a few places in the state.
The Chief Minister also admitted that wrong engineering is one of the biggest factors leading to accidents. He asked the engineers to keep road safety in mind while designing roads. He also said that despite his repeated pleas, a section of DCs and SPs have not taken the issue of road safety with the required earnestness. He also drew the attention of the NHIDCL officials to take this issue seriously.
The Chief Minister said, “Road accidents are a bigger threat in the state. The post-accident situation is even more disastrous. For instant treatment of injured people, our hospitals lack an adequate number of ICUs and other facilities. The cost of treating seriously injured people is very high. When a patient doesn’t get the required treatment, the attendants of the injured patients go berserk and resort to vandalism.”
The meeting decided to make the use of reflecting light on the rear side of every vehicle mandatory starting September 1, 2023. This is because a large number of accidents occur in the state due to a lack of reflective lights. When vehicles without reflector lights are parked on the roadside, other vehicles often hit them from behind.
The Chief Minister took up the suggestion of suspending the registration of vehicles and licences of drivers for six months as and when their vehicles meet with accidents. Suggestions also came that, in the case of accidents involving commercial vehicles, action should also be taken against the vehicle owners apart from their drivers. The Chief Minister said if the laws allow it, the government will think towards that end, as fines alone cannot reduce accidents.
The Chief Minister directed all authorities concerned that each and every black spot should have traffic rambles and signage well ahead of them to make drivers aware of them.