Ensure rapid trauma response and truck terminals to enhance road safety in Odisha
The government of Odisha has made road safety a priority, introducing many interventions towards it. Considering that the average number of traffic fatalities in the state is higher than the national average figure, the state government is working on all fronts to improve the situation.
Under the leadership of the State Transport Commissioner, Mr. Arun Bothra, many initiatives have been taken with emphasis on education, emergency care, enforcement and engineering (road). With the training of first responders and heavy vehicle drivers to reinforce road construction with all scientific signs and parameters in place, the Department of Transportation is sparing no effort to ensure that loss of life from accidents of the road minimize.
In the previous story on this topic, we wrote about initiatives under one of the 3Es – Education (link is provided at the end). In this second part, we will inform you about the work carried out within the framework of the other Es, namely Engineering, Emergency care and Control.
FOCUS ON ROAD ENGINEERING
In an exclusive conversation with Indian brains, co-commissioner of state for road safety, Sanjay Biswal, pointed out that their motto is: “The road must speak when a driver enters it”. So, apart from training engineers, the department has also launched tenders to audit state and national highways passing through Odisha for all road safety measures including signs and markings.
The audit of 3,000 km of road has already been completed and the call for tenders for an additional 5,000 km will be published soon. “The findings will be disseminated to all relevant road owner authorities. The report also includes suggestions, the implementation of which is the responsibility of the authority concerned. We will ensure that all these mandatory measures are in place on all roads,” Mr Biswal said.
PROVIDING THE BEST CARE TO VICTIMS
Compared to the national average figure of 33 fatalities in road accidents, Odisha sees 48 fatalities. The two main reasons are the availability of ambulances on time and the facilities of trauma centers. Thus, the transport department is focusing on both fronts. Recently, a meeting between the health and transport departments took place to finalize the modernization of trauma centers.
The state already has 33 such trauma centers. The idea is to make them active with all the facilities in place. While renovations will take time, the department is working to equip about 100 ambulances with artificial life support. Speaking of this, Mr Biswal said: “We have identified 145 black spots (any area is declared a black spot if five or more fatalities have occurred in a year). We plan to place 100 ALS ambulances in these locations alone. These ambulances will have full casualty care facilities including a minor OT. In addition, these ALS will be specifically reserved for victims of road accidents. Although this is still in the works, we believe it will reduce the time ambulances take to reach the location, thus reducing the number of fatalities.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR VEHICLES
To ensure road safety, the transport department also works with the police department for the electronic application with the integrated transport management system (ITMS). This requires the installation of CCTV cameras and automatic license plate recognition cameras on main roads and highways.
The system is already operational in Sundergarh, Kendujhar and Brahmapur. Thus, in the event of any violation, including speeding, driving without a helmet or without a seat belt, an e-chalan will be immediately issued to offenders.
In the state capital, Bhuvneshwar, cameras have been installed at 14 locations as part of the smart city project. The E-chalan system has been integrated into these cameras. With these measures in place, the capital has reported no accidents in the past three months. In addition to this, the department is also purchasing 10 additional highway interception vehicles for patrols. Thirty-seven vehicles of this type are already operational.
The department is also working on automating the driver’s license test and starting up heavy-duty terminals in all neighborhoods in PPP mode. These terminals will have all the facilities, including the catering service. Mr. Biswal explained that since trucks parked on the roads are becoming a major cause of traffic jams and accidents, in order to avoid them, truck terminals were the need of the hour.
Push on the four Es of Odisha for better road safety