3-member group formed for spending of road safety fund

A three-member lead group was constituted by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to formulate a plan of action for targeted spending of the road safety fund and to further reduce accident rate in the state.

Rs 20 crore has been made available to the fund this year.

Though the state had reported the steepest annual decline in deaths caused by road accidents over a 10-year period, the chief minister made it clear that the number of road accidents need to be curtailed further to realise his government's vision of making Punjab accident-free.

Chairing a meeting of the Punjab Road Safety Council, Singh took serious note of traffic violations that trigger accidents on the road and ordered stringent action against vehicles found plying without proper tail lights.

Registration of such vehicles should be cancelled. Even tractor-trolleys need to adhere to this rule, he said.

The chief minister directed the council to focus on automated checking of over-speeding, and also suggested e-challaning in such cases, as well as for drunken driving and other traffic violations.

He said till the time automatic speed barriers are installed, traffic police and other agencies concerned must ensure strict enforcement of speeding laws.

Asserting that highway trauma centres have been sanctioned in this year's state budget, the chief minister said private universities should be encouraged to start ambulance services to be placed strategically along the highways.

Directing the officers to launch a massive public awareness campaign about traffic rules, Singh told them to ensure mass participation of the people in this campaign.

He also suggested that habitual offenders of traffic rule violations be punished severely which would act as a deterrent for others.

Detailing the steps taken by the council to bring down fatalities due to road accidents over the last one year, officials said 400 accidental black spots have been identified across the state under the Action Plan for 2017. Of these, 150 had been improved.

A presentation on 'Road Safety Scenario' in Punjab by ADGP (Traffic) S S Chauhan showed that in 2017, the total number of reported accident cases in the state were 5,997, which resulted in 4,278 causalities - a decline of 15.7 per cent form 2016.

The number of people seriously injured in 2017 stood at 4,024. In 2017, Highway Patrol Vehicles & Ambulances saved 3,951 lives across the state through prompt evacuation and first aid service.

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