Among the measures the Road Safety Committee has decided to take to bring down the number of accidents and ensure safety is to insist on internal parking for dhabas (road side food stalls) along the national highways.
At dhabas, a number of vehicles are parked alongside the road leading to accidents at night.
At its meeting held on November 24, with District Collector and Chairman of the Committee J. Syamala Rao presiding, the National Highways Authority of India officials were asked to inspect, serve notices and close down those dhabas without parking on their premises. A status report should be submitted in a month.
According to Deputy Transport Commissioner and Member-Secretary of the Committee S. Venkateswara Rao, a series of steps have been mooted to bring down the number of accidents that stood at 11.4 for 10,000 vehicles in the district. Nalgonda tops the death rate in the State at 57 while Hyderabad has the lowest, 2.9.
The national rate is 19.7.
Road safety measures, including awareness and enforcement, during the last three, four years had led to containing the accident rate, says Mr. Venkateswara Rao.
They include preventing overloading of lorries that makes control difficult to drivers, checking carrying of persons by goods vehicles, auto-rickshaws carrying people beyond capacity.
In 2007, 687 deaths were caused by accidents and in the next two years 696 and 728 respectively and 712 in 2009, indicating that the fatalities remained more or less the same.
The national highway passing through the district from Anakapalle to Payakaraopeta and in the city too is a major contributing factor. However, the target is to bring down the accident rate to 7 by 2013 and to 3.3 by 2020.
The Collector has also asked the Police to issue 40 e-challans a day for violation of road safety rules like talking over cell phone and driving without helmet by using digital cameras at important junctions. Drives conducted from time to time to check these two violations generally alert people who would be careful at that time.
Mr. Venkateswara Rao said a sub-committee would soon be formed with all departments concerned to explore the possibility of having a truck terminal. At Gajuwaka mainly the vehicles of Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Gangavaram Port are parked on the roads. As of now, only Mumbai has a truck terminal.