Road mishap data collection to be more scientific

Road mishap data collection to be more scientific
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to adopt a more scientific approach for collecting data on accidents, which will include road engineering defects, road surface conditions, over-loading and condition of vehicles.

The ministry has circulated the new format, prepared by an expert panel, and asked them to submit data in the coming days. The new format will help analyse the cause of accidents, identifying black spots and taking corrective steps to eliminate the flaws, said Kirti Saxena, senior advisor with the Transport Research Wing of the ministry. Instead of blaming drivers negligence for accidents, the government wanted to know what are the other reasons that cause accidents, including weather conditions, culverts, gradients and potholes, she said.

The new format also lays emphasis on use of GPS coordinates to obtain accurate location of accident spots. However, at places where the police station does not have GPS facility, the format has the provision of giving landmarks.

Every year, the ministry collects data from the state governments and analyses it. India is a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration where the country has committed to reduce road fatalities by 50% by 2020.

In 2015, nearly 5 lakh road accidents were reported in India where 1.46 lakh people died.The expert panel, formed in November 2016, comprises officials from MoRTH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state transport and police departments and experts from IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kharagpur to recommend a new format for data collection.

Terming the existing data collection method as highly flawed, Geetam Tiwari, a professor at IIT-Delhi, said, “The current data shows only 10% of casualties are pedestrians. However, our study revealed that 50% of victims in Delhi are pedestrians, while the figure goes to 65% in Mumbai”.

“Emphasis has been given on accident identification details, road related details, vehicles involved in accidents, driver details and persons other than drivers involved in the accident”, said Sudhanshu Mitra, a professor at IIT-Kharagpur, who is the part of the committee.
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