The white paper sets
out to reduce rising
number of fatalities due to road mishaps
Bhubaneswar: The state government Monday dedicated a Road Safety Action Plan and Good Samaritan Policy with an objective to reduce the rising incidents of road accidents in the state.
Transport minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu said in spite of several measures taken by the government, the number of fatal road accidents continued to rise. Sahu said as many as 4303 people died in road accidents in 2015 which went up to 4463 in 2016, and 4790 in 2017.
In 2018, 5,315 people were killed in road accidents. Around 11,794 people were injured in 11,262 accidents in the state. The year 2018 witnessed a 10.96 per cent rise in the fatality rate.
Sahu said the Supreme Court expressed displeasure after the number of fatalities in accidents in Odisha went up by 7.33 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016 and had directed the government to cut it by 10 per cent. But unfortunately, the number of deaths in 2018 went up by 11 per cent. In India, 1,47,913 people died in road accidents in 2017. The number of deaths in road accidents in the country is higher compared to many other states in the world. Around the world, around 12 lakh people die in road accidents every year.
Expressing concern over the rising number of road accidents, the UNO has appealed to observe the decade (2011-2020) as road safety decade and reduce the number of road accidents by 50 per cent.
The minister said road accidents occur mainly due to drunken driving, faulty road engineering, driving while talking over phone and over-speeding. He added that after considering all these factors, the action plan and the Good Samaritan policy was launched to reduce the number of accidents and deaths due to accidents.
Finance minister Shashi Bhusan Behera said under the action plan, student traffic volunteer scholarship scheme was introduced in 12 towns and arrangements have been made to provide a compensation of `2 lakh to the family members of people who died in road accidents by unidentified vehicles and `50,000 assistance to the injured.
A school bus policy has been announced for the convenience of school and college students. As per the policy anyone who will rush an accident victim to the nearest government or private hospital will be given an incentive of `2,000 and the transportation cost for bringing the accident victim would be reimbursed.
Police will not harass them and cannot register any case against them. They will not be forced to provide any information or stand witness. The hospitals will not be asked to pay for the treatment of the accident victim. In case the person spends any money, the amount would be paid back to him after he submits the bill.