Odisha Government Directs Cops, RTOs to Ensure Strict Compliance With Traffic Rules

The Odisha government’s continual effort to improve road safety and awareness was reiterated on Tuesday as Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra asked the police and the Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) to strictly ensure compliance with the amended traffic laws. Road accidents in the state have come down only recently after tireless strides were made by the Odisha State Transport Authority (OSTA) over the years.

The Chief Secretary reviewed the road safety status in a high-level meeting organised with senior officials present from other departments, district collectors and Superintendents of Police through video conferencing. He emphasized penalising violators of the law, such as helmet-less bikers and overspeeding. “District administrations should set targets to reduce accidents. Besides, road safety action plans should be drawn in districts to bring down the fatality rate. Enforcement activities should be intensified,” Mohapatra told the officials in the meeting.

As per statistics available with the transport department, road fatalities in 2020 had come down eleven percent year-on-year against 2019. Sources attributed a major part of the reason to be the pandemic-induced lockdown that barred vehicular movements for a significant period in the first quarter of the financial year. A total of 4738 persons were killed in road mishaps in the state last year as against 5333 deaths in 2019.

Earlier, the state government had put out a notification that revoked the bike driver’s licence if the pillion rider was found helmet-less. Under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, an offender will have to cough up a Rs 1,000 fine for not wearing a helmet. Besides, the offender’s DL will be suspended for three months. Two-wheelers were involved in as many as 4,688 of the total 11,064 road accidents in Odisha in 2019.

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