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Tamil Nadu shows way in reducing road deaths by nearly 54% in 4 years | India News

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu has set an example among states by registering nearly 54% fall in road deaths per year in four years – from 15,855 fatalities in 2016 (till November) to 7,287 till the same month in 2020 – at a time when the Centre has set the target to reduce total fatalities in the country by 50% in the next nine years.
Though the overall number of people killed in road crashes reduced significantly in 2020 due to Covid-induced lockdown, Tamil Nadu has been recording a continuous decline in fatalities since 2016. Now the road transport ministry and World Bank will propagate the TN model of identifying the exact cause of fatalities, ambulance reaching site within 13 minutes, rectifying crash spots and smooth coordination among various agencies, which others can adopt to check the number of road deaths.
India loses 415 lives per day in road crashes, the most across the globe. “If we keep waiting till 2030, at least 6-7 lakh people will die due to road accidents…If Tamil Nadu can do it, all states can make progress,” Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said while launching the month-long Road Safety campaign on Monday. Defence minister Rajnath Singh also said a large number of youths, who are assets of the country, get killed in road crashes.
Elaborating about Tamil Nadu, a state transport department official said the steps include collection of robust data on accidents, identifying and elimination of ‘black spots’, providing emergency response and health care, educating drivers on safe driving and enforcement by police and the transport wing. Since 2015, a total of 4.15 lakh driving licences have been suspended for violating traffic rules.
“Annually special allocation is made for road safety and last year Rs 65 crore was kept for this purpose. We have one ambulance every 25 km. The response time has come down to barely 13 minutes from more than an hour 10 years back. We also have transport department offices at every 25 km and officials reach the site quickly in case of a crash,” said Sampath Kumar of state’s transport department.
He said the state transport minister holds a meeting of all wings concerned on road safety every third month and the collector of each district chairs a meeting every month. Performance on the road safety front has been made a critical input while analysing the performance of field officers in their annual performance reports. A state level control room has been set up in the office of the additional DGP (traffic and road safety) for monitoring the operation of 272 highways patrolling vehicles by fixing GPS in them, said the official.

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