Chandigarh, May 4 (UNI) Punjab has witnessed a sharp decline in road accidents during the first quarter of 2018 with a total 1,070 accidental deaths being reported in the state as compared to 1,134 last year in the same period.
Stating this during a media briefing here, Punjab Police ADGP Traffic Sharad Satya Chouhan said, “During last year, we are able to reduce 799 valuable lives vis-a-vis previous year figure of 5,077 fatalities but working hard to prevent each and every road accidental death.”
He said that road safety in the country as well as in Punjab was going through a transition phase. Punjab was the first state to adopt scientific ways to reduce crashes by way of predicting and preventing. He said “Indeed we do not believe, it is an “act of god”.
He informed that Punjab was losing 12 valuable lives in road accidents every day. Keeping in view traffic police was giving special focus on road safety during fog which resulted in 28 per cent reduction in fatalities (319 in 2017) this year as compared with last year (441 in 2016). “We are targeting 10% reduction in road fatalities each year”, he asserted.
In a bid to reduce road accidents, the ADGP Traffic informed that in association with state PWD, Punjab Police had identified 400 accidental black spots out of which most critical 142 spots were improved and resulted in significant reduction of fatalities. “We are improving our highway patrolling, rapid rural policing, evacuation and post-crash facilities”, he added.
Dr Chouhan said traffic police in association with various truck unions and state education department had organised 8,355 traffic awareness workshops in the last year. “Traffic police is regularly issuing traffic challans besides more emphasis was laid on challans like drunk driving and over speeding”, he added.
In order to ensure fast service to commuters during the case of emergency, he said that traffic police was 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 32 traffic aid posts-cum Saanjh posts were also being set up on each toll plaza.
Listing out a big leapfrog from traditional approach to handle road safety towards more scientific manner, the ADGP said traffic police would set up its own Punjab Traffic Laboratory with the help of domain knowledge experts to tackle road fatalities.
Besides this, Punjab Traffic Institute at Phillaur would also be upgraded for training purposes. To encourage citizens for helping road accident victims, traffic police would start “Bhai Kahnaiya Sewa Sanman Pattar” from this year, he added.
Declaring a zero-tolerance approach with regard to road safety, he further said with the help of NGO’s like “The Patiala Foundation”, traffic police was disseminating awareness in the state. In addition to this a “Children Challan Book” was recently launched by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and would take it forward in all cities. With the view to raise awareness among society, he said mass media could play key role in disseminating vital information on road safety.
The ADGP said three Memorandum of Understandings have also been signed with state’s three premier technical institutes mainly Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College Ludhiana and Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Amritsar with the aim of taking up joint research activities required for modernising engineering, enforcement approach. This initiative would also help in setting up of research and development centre for the road safety in the state, he said.
Sharing details, Dr Chouhan said that Punjab have saved Rs 810 crore in last year through reduction in road fatalities/accidents as per the socio-economic cost evaluation. He said “We have not restricted ourselves to 3 E’s of road safety i.e. Engineering, Enforcement and Education but Punjab Police has added two more E’s of Engagement and Electronics as an extended arms of traffic police to achieve desirable results”.