Tamil Nadu

State sees sharp drop in road accident fatalities

Fatalities in road accidents in the State have reduced by 54% when compared to the base year of 2016.

The total number of fatalities dropped from 17,218 in 2016 to 10,525 in 2019. As many as 7,287 fatalities were reported until November 30 last year.

The State had been seeing a steep rise in the number of accidents, the number of fatal accidents and the number of persons injured in accidents.

At one point, the figures were the highest in the country. In 2008, the number of persons who died in fatal accidents was 12,784. It kept rising year after year and reached 17,218 in 2016.

Since 2016, the State has been implementing a series of steps like collecting robust data on accidents, identifying and eliminating black spots, providing immediate emergency response and healthcare to those affected, educating motorists about the importance of safe driving, and effective enforcement by the Police and Transport Departments.

Tamil Nadu was adjudged the Best Performing State in Road Safety for two years — 2018 and 2019 — and received an annual award from the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) for two consecutive years.

The award was presented by Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari to the State, represented by Inspector General of Police, Traffic and Road Safety, Pramodh Kumar, on Monday.

Based on the Road Accident Report 2019, published by MoRTH, the State registered the maximum reduction in accident-related deaths — 1,691 in 2019, when compared to 2018, registering a decline of 13.84% over the previous year. So, it was adjudged the Best Performing State in terms of road safety.

Millenium goal

“The State has already achieved the millenium goal — to reduce accidents by 50% by 2025. Compared to the base year of 2016, when the State had the highest number of accidents, at 17,218, we have brought the figure down by 54%, and have been consistently taking steps to reduce accidents,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.

“Some institutional changes made since 2016 really helped us reduce fatalities. Performance on the road safety front was made a critical input while analysing the performance of field officers in the annual performance report. This made them accord top priority to traffic and road safety work.

“An Additional Superintendent of Police-level officer in every district was appointed as a nodal officer for traffic and road safety work,” Mr. Kumar said.

Integrated database

The State has also introduced the Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD), a robust road accident database management system developed and implemented with the help of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, NIC. This enables the State and the Centre to comprehend information related to road accidents, analyse the root cause of such accidents, and develop and implement ‘data-led’ road safety interventions to reduce accidents.

Professor Venkatesh Balasubramanian of IIT Madras, who was a part of the team that helped build the Tamil Nadu Accident and Emergency Care Initiative (TAEI), a unique trauma care programme, said, “The success of Tamil Nadu is a validation of the multi-departmental data-driven systems approach to road safety. It is notable that this effort has been recognised and is being templated for implementation across the country.”

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 2:34:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/state-sees-sharp-drop-in-road-accident-fatalities/article33621610.ece

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