‘Bengal becomes first state to adopt scientific approach for management of speed’

‘Bengal becomes first state to adopt scientific approach for management of speed’

Kolkata: Bengal became the first state to adopt a scientific approach for speed management to enhance road safety. State Transport minister Snehasis Chakraborty inaugurated the policy interventions and a road map for its implementation on Tuesday.

Chakraborty said that a couple of roads with high road accidents taking place will be identified and speed management will be first implemented there. Depending on its success, it will further be implemented across the state. “After 2014, we have been able to reduce the number of road accidents. Now, we are trying to bring the data down to zero,” the minister said.

With an aim to enhance road safety, the policy interventions have been prepared with technical support from IIT Kharagpur and reviewed by global experts on road safety as well as the stakeholder departments, including police, road development authorities like Public Works Department (PWD), Urban Development and Municipal Affairs (UD&MA) and Panchayat and Rural Development (P&RD). This document was approved by the State Road Safety Council in its 12th meeting on August 28, 2023 for implementation in the state.

A workshop on speed management was also conducted by IIT Kharagpur professor Dr Bhargab Maitra.

Dr Maitra said that for an improved performance, there is a need for better infrastructure, proper street management and enforcement, proper emergency response system and a team approach. He said: “The report is scientific and will help the state. Speed and fatality are scientifically related.”

Several initiatives under the Safe Drive Save Life (SDSL) campaign have been taken and proved to be beneficial for reducing road crashes and resulting fatalities. Currently, the state ranks 11th in both number of crashes (13,686) and resulting fatalities (6002) among various states in India.

It was observed that the share of pedestrians and bicyclists in overall fatality is 53.3 per cent. If the two-wheelers and other non-motorised modes are included then the overall share of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) becomes 69.1 per cent. With the overall improvement of road condition in the state, over-speeding has been reported as the single major cause for road crashes and fatalities.

Therefore, the state resolved to follow the “Safe System Approach” and emphasised on speed management for reducing road fatalities in the short-run. Simultaneously, efforts are underway to upgrade the VRU infrastructure, emergency response system and making road users more aware about road rules for tackling the problem in the long-run.

This initiative is commensurate with the recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety (SCCoRS).

Next Story
Share it