Speed Laser Guns To Be Installed on Odisha’s Highway Patrol Vans

In a directed effort to check and penalise over-speeding in highways, the Odisha government has sanctioned funds for the installation of speed laser guns – instruments that remotely measure vehicular speeds – on all highway patrol vans. Earlier, only the interceptor cars would have the speed guns installed.

“Since most of the accidents occur due to the driving in excess speed, we have decided to introduce speed laser guns in the highway patrol vehicles, which are operational on 18 stretches of the national highways. We have written to the state police headquarters to take steps for procurement and installation of the speed laser guns,” read a letter sent by Madhu Sudan Padhi, the state transport secretary, to the director general of police Abhay last week.

Speed violations have been leading to a spurt in road accident rates throughout the state. The state transport department revealed that out of the 5,333 cases of road accidents recorded in 2019, over 69% were caused due to over-speeding. The recently amended Motor Vehicles Act tightened the noose on such violators, imposing hefty fines to deter reckless driving. Under the present norms, light and heavy vehicles will be fined Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000 respectively for driving at excess speed.

In his letter to the DGP, Padhi also emphasised the need for drawing up a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for smooth implementation of the highway patrol system, which was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on February 1. To ensure compliance, the transport department has also sought monthly enforcement data of the highway patrol units from the police headquarters.

“There is a necessity of intensifying the enforcement against the traffic rule violators, especially those flouting the speed and drink driving rules. Although accident fatalities came down by 11% in 2020 as compared to 2019, the deaths increased by 26% between September and December last year. This disturbing trend seemed to continue in January and February this year,” Padhi’s letter said.

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