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Road transport ministry approves new format for recording accidents

Road transport ministry approves new format for recording accidents
The government has accorded highest priority in reducing the number of accidents.
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Ministry of road transport and highways has accepted recommendations by an expert on a new format for recording and reporting road accidents.

The committee, formed by the ministry in November 2016, is headed by senior advisor, transport research wing of the ministry and includes experts from IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kharagpur, World Health organization, senior officers from police and transport departments of states, additional director general of police (traffic), Tamil Nadu and transport commissioner, government of Tripura. It also has officers of ministry of health and family welfare and officers of the transport ministry.

“The recording of accident data is done in FIRs at police stations. These records are liable to be subjective as police personnel fill it up according to their understanding and assign reasons for accidents as per their interpretation. There are apprehensions that due to limited technical understanding, police persons recording the data are not able to recognise the role of road engineering defects, nature of impacting vehicles and other such technical details that may have caused the accident. As a result, these aspects that are so vital for ensuring road safety but remain unreported or under reported,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry constituted the committee to review the existing format for reporting road accidents by police since it was felt that the reporting through the current format resulted in a lot of subjectivity.

“FIRs at police stations suffer from under reporting of data from the accident site, which is therefore inaccurate and incomplete,” Kirti Saxena, senior adviser of transport research wing and chairperson of the committee told the media on Tuesday.

She also added that the committee met a number of times to look into the weaknesses of the existing format of reporting accidents.

According to Geetam Tiwari, professor at IIT-Delhi and member of the committee, reports at present are collected from police stations by state governments, who then send their report to the Centre. She hoped that the new format would fill in gaps in reporting of accidents by minimizing subjectivity.

“Recording of the accident site will play crucial role in the task of reporting. GPS details will enable to understand the road design at site.  Besides, vehicle analysis and also person related details would help in analysing the accidents,” professor Sudeshna Mitra of IIT-Kharagpur and member of the committee said.

The number of deaths due to road accidents rose 4.6% to 146,133 in 2015 compared to 139,671 in 2014.

The total number of road accidents increased by 2.5% from 489,400 in 2014 to 501,423 in 2015.

About 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths took place every day on Indian roads which further translates into 57 accidents and loss of 17 lives on average every hour in the country.

This also comes at a time when the ministry is also looking to identify black spots in a bid to increase safety at roads.

In sync with recommendations of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), the ministry of road transport and highways has identified around 200 choke points on the country’s national highways network for decongestion as reported by InfraCircle on 29 September. 

 

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