BHUBANESWAR: Worried over the rising road deaths due to violation of helmet laws, the State government has asked the DGP and Transport Commissioner to take stringent action against violation of traffic rules and suspension of driving licence (DL) of the offender.
About 8.5 lakh persons were detected violating the helmet laws by police and Odisha Motor Vehicles department officers last year. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, if a biker is found violating the helmet law he/she shall be punished with a fine of Rs 1,000 and disqualified for holding licence for a period of three months.
Principal Secretary of Commerce and Transport Madhusudan Padhi has urged the DGP and Transport Commissioner to suspend DL of violators and closely monitor implementation of the helmet law. The Supreme Court Committee during a review on November 9 had insisted this provision of the MV Act to be enforced strictly.
Meanwhile, with the easing of restrictions on movement of people and vehicles, the roads in Odisha have now become death traps. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic had managed to bring down the number by 45 per cent (pc) during the lockdown period from March to May, the road fatalities witnessed an unprecedented growth of over 33 pc in September.
Transport department statistics revealed that 432 people were killed in 844 accidents in September as compared to 323 deaths in 702 road mishaps in the month last year. Although the figures of October are awaited, sources said there is no let up in road fatalities.
The accident rate started to climb once again following the easing of lockdown rules from June. The number of fatalities was 29.76 pc less in March, 74.35 pc less in April, 50.81 pc less in May, 28.81 pc less in June, 17.92 pc less in July and 0.82 less in August than that of corresponding months in 2019.
However, the fatality rate grew by 33.75 pc in September. Odisha is among a few states where the death on roads rose sharply post lockdown. As many as 2,214 persons died in accidents from March to September as compared to 3,073 deaths in the same period last year.
As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, Odisha was among the top-10 states that reported maximum number of deaths in 2019 due to over-speeding, no use of helmet and driving under the influence of alcohol. Of the 11,064 road accidents and 5,333 deaths recorded last year, two wheelers were involved in 4,688 cases that resulted in death of 2,398 persons. The data indicated 2,156 among them were not wearing helmet at the time of accident.
Apart from the poor road infrastructure, Transport department officials attributed the rising accidents to lack of stringent enforcement against traffic violators.