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States told to imitate Maha’s highways patrolling system

Asking states to set up highways patrol on the pattern of Maharashtra, road transport and highways ministry has said formation of such dedicated police force can bring down accidents and ensure safety.

‘All the states/UTs are suggested to set up dedicated highway police for effective patrolling along the national highway networks across their state,’ the ministry has said in a communication to states.

Maharashtra has a designated police force for highways.

A Traffic Engineering Unit under it analyses the causes of accidents and suggests preventive measures, it said while asking states to emulate this model.

‘Currently, the Highway Police (in Maharashtra) has 43 Traffic Aid Posts on the prominent National & State Highways.

The Highways Police is headed by additional director general of police traffic, Maharashtra,’ the communication said.

The development comes in the wake of a rising number of road accidents taking toll of many precious lives.

‘During 2012, a total of 4,90,383 road accidents were reported by all states/Union Territories (UTs). Of these, about 25.1 per cent (1,23,093) were fatal accidents,’ the ministry expressed.

The number of persons killed in road accidents was 1,38,258, an average of one fatality per 3.5 accidents.

It expressed concern that the proportion of fatal accidents in total road accidents has consistently increased since 2002 from 18.1 per cent to 25.1 per cent in 2012.

Although National Highways constitute only about two per cent of the total road length they account for 29.1 per cent in total road accidents and 35.3 per cent in total number of persons killed in road accidents.

The ministry said in view of manifold increase in road traffic during last few years,  it is very much necessary to regulate the traffic movement. The need of the hour is to have a dedicated highway police to enforce road safety.

‘Such force should be equipped with modern technology and equipment and 'the idea is to put a faster accident emergency response system in place alongside an intensive highway patrolling,’ it said.

India has 33 lakh km of road network, of which about 79,000 km is the National Highways.
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