The need for stringent enforcement of helmet law was stressed across the State by the Department Commerce and Transport here. Department Secretary G Srinivas said the decision was taken at a preparatory meeting for the 29th National Road Safety Week to be held from April 23 to 30 across Odisha.
Records suggest that more than 35 per cent of persons killed in road accidents are two-wheeler riders. During the year 2017, as many as 4,790 people were killed in road accidents in Odisha and more than 11,000 were injured.
The road accident fatality rate is higher in Odisha as compared to the all-India figure. In every 100 accidents, about 46 persons are killed in the State, whereas the national average is 29. 78 per cent of persons killed in road accidents are in the 15-45 years age groups. Many of them are the bread earners of their families.
Records presented in the meeting suggested that road accidents are increasing day-by-day, which has become a major concern.
Over 1.5 lakh people were killed in the country during 2017 along with loss of huge property and trauma to the family of the deceased. More than 5 lakh people were injured and many of them became permanently physically handicapped.
The economic loss due to road accidents is equal to 3 per cent of the GDP of the country. Throughout the world, around 10 lakh people are killed in road accidents and every year India contributes to over 15 per cent of world road accident fatalities. The analysis of road accident data 2016 reveals that about 1,317 accidents and 413 accident deaths take place every day on Indian roads.
The Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety had directed the State Government to take all possible steps for reduction of fatalities by 10 per cent in 2017.
Although the Government had taken a number of steps, the fatalities increased by 7.33 per cent in Odisha in 2017 compared to 2016. The road accident scenario has further worsened during January and February, 2018 compared to same period of 2017. There is a rise in fatalities by more than 24 per cent.
Odisha is one of the five States along with Bihar, UP, Assam and Chhattisgarh to have recorded increase in fatalities during the period 2017 whereas the rest of the countries have actually reduced road accident fatalities.
This year, the National Road Safety Week in Odisha will be observed with the message ‘Sadak Suraksha-Jeevan Raksha’.