Crime

Death toll due to road mishaps increase by 5.71 percent in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A big question mark has aroused on the preventive measures undertaken by the State Government in view of the rise in road mishaps and casualties in Odisha.

According to a review by Commerce and Transport Department, as many as 5,556 road mishaps were recorded between January and June in 2016. This year, the number rose to 5,607. Against the casualties of 2,394 during the six-month period last year, the deaths have skyrocketed to 2,446 this time around.

Compared to 2015, the number of deaths caused by road mishaps in 2016 rose by 5.71 per cent. The State Government had targeted to bring down the casualties by 10 per cent this year.

Of all the districts, Khurda has proved to be the most accident prone. This year, so far, the district has reported 594 accidents which is higher compared to 2016. Malkangiri remained the safest with total road mishaps standing at 35.

It has been also noticed that apart from reckless driving, use of mobile phones while driving and overloading have emerged as the two major reasons for rising road mishaps in the State.

In case of two-wheelers, most accidents are result of deaths and injuries caused by non-use of helmets by the drivers.

At least 35 percent of total accidents involve two-wheelers. The review meeting, chaired by Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal, informed that the State Government is trying to improve infrastructure for providing better care to accident victims so that more lives can be saved.

The government has stepped afoot to recruit 336 more staff for the trauma care centres where the present strength stands at 82. The Health Department is also planning to establish eight more trauma care centres apart from providing emergency services along National Highways and major urban pockets which are mishap-prone.

It was also stressed in the meeting to impound the driving licenses of drunk drivers and identification of black spots besides creation of awareness through FM radio channels and advertisements in theatre halls.

The meeting also recommended that road safety audits must be conducted along national and state highways to improve the situation.

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