“First step towards a scientific road safety system”
CHENNAI: Traffic management efforts in the State received a boost with the launch of the Road Accident Data Management System (RADMS) here recently.
It has a database of real time, usable data that can help in reducing the number of fatal accidents.
Speaking on the occasion, Vellakoil M.P. Saminathan, Minister for Highways and Minor Ports, said “RADMS, a web-enabled GIS-based system, is the first step towards a scientific road safety management system.”
Developed by the Road Sector Project wing of the Highways Department in collaboration with the traffic police and Transport Department, it will provide comprehensive, real-time and detailed accident statistics.
Analysis of the geo-referenced database will be used to plan measures to mitigate future accidents.
“The number of people who die every year in road accidents is deeply distressing,” Mr. Saminathan said.
“As part of the mechanism put in place, the available data will be used to generate regular reports which list out measures to avoid accidents,” he added.
The work involved in updating and maintaining the database is shared by traffic police personnel at the scene of the accident, the Transport Department that furnishes registration details and the Highways Department.
An interesting feature of the system is that if the data is not updated by any of the departments, an alert escalates up the chain of command.
A. Veeraraghavan, Professor, Transportation Engineering Division, IIT-Madras, who was involved in testing the system, gave a presentation on potential applications and suggestions to bring down fatalities due to accidents.
“Various types of analysis such as cluster, grid and corridor can be undertaken using the data and it will help us better understand the causes behind accidents. Preliminary analysis throws up interesting statistics like the increase in fatalities by 20 per cent if speed goes up by 5 per cent,” he said.
He added that the Highways Research Station must be revamped and an exclusive body to monitor and mitigate accidents must be set up.
Insisting that a majority of accidents could be avoided, T.V. Somanathan, Secretary to Chief Minister (Monitoring), said that the State was committed to a 20 per cent reduction in accident fatalities by 2013.
T. Radhakrishnan, Inspector General, State Traffic Planning Cell, said that everyone should get involved as reducing the number of accidents was a social obligation.
“People must also realise the value of their own lives. Roads are not the cause of accidents, road users are. They must strictly follow at least some basic rules of road usage.” R. Thiagarajan, Project Director, Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project, spoke.