Road safety policy not fully executed -
Road safety policy not fully executed
Posted 19 Jan 2017 11:29 AM


Nearly a year after the draft for the road safety policy was approved to minimise the accident-related deaths in the state, most of the targets set in the policy are yet to be realised.

While the Traffic Police have increased their efforts to implement the traffic rules and regulations and punish the violators by penalising them as envisaged under the road safety policy, the other major salient features spelt out in the policy are yet to take off.

The draft J&K State Road Safety Policy was approved by Governor NN Vohra in March 2016 and was subsequently put in the public domain to seek feedback from the public. Finally, the policy was notified by the government on September 8, 2016, after incorporating suggestions from stakeholders.

Under the new policy, the vision is to save precious human lives. The objective of the policy is to provide safe roads and safe passage to the users, with the intent to reduce the fatalities and injuries by 20 per cent by 2020, considering 2016 as the base year.

The accident-related data for the past four years, including 2016, shows over 3,564 road deaths, which is more than the people killed in militancy-related violence.

Some of the important features of the policy include establishing a centre of excellence to create capacity in road safety research, besides creating a network of trauma health care facilities on national and state highways. There are more than 17 lakh vehicles in the state, of which 15 lakh are registered with the local transport offices, security forces and other Central government offices.

Data reveals that of the state’s 1.25 crore population, only 65 per cent people have access to the public transport facilities while the road safety policy envisaged introduction of smart and modern public transport facilities to ease congestion on the roads and thereby reduce fatalities.

Though the foundation stones of many trauma centres have been laid, the critical care ambulances part of the policy are nowhere in sight. “The policy has been recently notified and we are in the process of implementing it and realising the objectives,” said Commissioner Secretary, Transport Department, Bipul Pathak.

The Transport Department has accorded sanction to the constitution of a Project Monitoring and Implementation Committee for installation of the GPS-based vehicle tracking system in both commercial and passenger vehicles in the state.

Traffic officials said they were enforcing laws and had increased patrolling along highways to nab the violators.
“As envisaged under the new policy, our job is enforcement. We are trying our best to implement the laws and enforce the traffic rules and regulations so as to minimise the accidents and casualties. But a lot needs to be done to fully implement the policy,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Srinagar, Fayaz Ahmad Lone.
Lone, however, pointed out that the areas where more attention was needed were registration of the vehicles and the phasing out of the condemned vehicles and the fitness of such vehicles.

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